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Getting Back to Business
Now that most public health restrictions have lifted, many downtown districts are eager to fully reopen; but they also know it will take more than opening their doors and simply hoping patrons come back.
In Minneapolis, a group of business owners, city advocates and other stakeholders recently formed a coalition to launch a new campaign aimed at attracting people back to downtown. Their initiative includes putting more farmers markets, festivals and live music events on the summer calendar in an effort to reacquaint area residents with favorite pastimes.
“However, the biggest challenge for these stakeholders is addressing the perception of downtown when it comes to public safety.”*
The group has acknowledged they will have to actively address the public perception that crime is on the rise. A key part of the coalition’s plan is to educate potential visitors that when they hear about crime in Minneapolis, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s happening downtown.
One strategy that has proven to be very effective is for cities to set up their MPS camera trailers at key locations downtown or during special events to assure the public their safety is a priority. Mobile surveillance benefits local law enforcement as well because officers have remote access to cameras and can check-in from anywhere. This allows them to maintain a police presence while prioritizing where officers are most needed for in-person patrols.