UMN leaders lay out safety plan for 2023-24 school year | #schoolsaftey

With the fall semester underway, University of Minnesota Police have authorized more overtime for officers and will assist MPD in Dinkytown.

MINNEAPOLIS — University of Minnesota leaders laid out a safety and security plan for the 2023-24 school year at a Board of Regents meeting on Friday, just days after the start of classes for thousands of students.

Interim President Jeff Ettinger said he attended a campus safety reception earlier this week with other university officials, board members, law enforcement representatives, and county attorneys Mary Moriarty and John Choi.

“Ensuring safety on all our campuses,” Ettinger said, “continues to be a top priority of our team.”

Since the early days of the pandemic, crime has been a persistent concern at or near the University of Minnesota campus. In Dinkytown, which falls under Minneapolis Police jurisdiction, law enforcement has responded frequently in recent months to disturbances involving large groups of young people.

Myron Frans, the U of M’s senior vice president for Finance and Operations, said the school stands ready to assist MPD in off-campus neighborhoods like Dinkytown. The University of Minnesota Police Department has authorized overtime for officers to respond to Dinkytown, and in fact, after this Saturday night’s football game against Eastern Michigan, UMPD officers are planning to move into Dinkytown to keep an eye on crowds.

“We want to give a shoutout to UMPD who take on overtime again, and again, and again, and it’s tiring and it’s hard but they are always there to serve on our behalf,” Frans said. “The extra police presence we think will help prevent and respond quickly to harmful activities.”

On campus, Frans said the school is beefing up security for dozens of buildings. The U of M is also employing a pilot program this year at Pioneer Hall, involving new security turnstiles at the entrance and a live video monitoring system. If those efforts are successful at Pioneer Hall, they could be replicated in other residence halls.

“So far students have adapted well to this new security measure,” Frans said, “and there have been no reports of delays entering the building.”

Senior Simon Alexander said crime and safety concerns “have gotten better” compared to a few years ago, although he is still cautious in Dinkytown. He credited the new administration under interim president Ettinger for making an effort on student outreach.

“He’s really trying to get student voices, to hear what we can do to help with safety,” Alexander said.

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