Students see spike in reported violent crime after University of Minnesota cuts ties with Minneapolis Police Department

Students have expressed serious concerns about their safety at the University of Minnesota due to an increase in crime and a lack of police presence.

Students saw a sudden uptick in public safety announcements detailing local violent crimes soon after UMN announced it would cut ties with local police.

Students saw an increase in reported violence just weeks after the University of Minnesota announced that it would cut ties with the Minneapolis Police Department after the death of George Floyd.

In the weeks following the University of Minnesota’s announcement that it would cut ties with the Minneapolis Police Department, students received multiple systemwide public safety alert messages, telling them to be cautious on and near campus due to various reported violent crimes. This is a substantial increase in safety notifications for Minnesota students, given that prior to the announcement, only seven such announcements with only two emergencies were made in a six month period.

The university made its announcement on May 27. On June 16, students were alerted of both a robbery and an attempted robbery. On June 18, an alert warned students that an individual had been assaulted and four male suspects had stolen his car. The alert said that this incident “may be related to a second robbery.” Yet another robbery was reported on June 20, this time at gunpoint.  

On July 2, students received alerts about a robbery of a business by a female suspect during which “a gun was seen.”

On Thursday, students learned via the alert system that five males used a Ford SUV to knock a woman off her bike, in what was described as yet another “attempted robbery,” although the assailants reportedly left the scene without taking any property. 

After the publication of this article, two additional violent crimes were reported, both occurring on August 3. The first involved an individual shooting a victim and then fleeing. UMN said it was not a student. The second incident involved five armed suspects who robbed at least two other individuals. 

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All of this is leaving many to wonder what the University of Minnesota is doing to keep students safe, especially considering that the Minneapolis Police Department responded to about half of the reported crimes listed on the UMN Police Department’s website since September.

“The University has its own police department, the University of Minnesota Police Department (UMPD), which continues to lead our day-to-day public safety efforts on our Twin Cities campus. Additionally, UMPD still collaborates with MPD on joint patrols and investigations that directly enhance the safety of our community and allow us to investigate and apprehend those who put our students, faculty, and staff at risk,” the university told Campus Reform. 

Students, however, fear that the university is not taking their safety seriously. 

Nina Lind, a senior at the University of Minnesota, told Campus Reform that “I think that the [University of Minnesota] is more focused on the social issues brought up by students rather than our actual safety. I am genuinely concerned to come back to campus without the MPD being present.”

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Chase Christopherson, another student at the University of Minnesota, added, “It is disappointing that the leadership of the University of Minnesota caved into the mob and will thus provide less safety and services” adding that he “fear[s] that the University doesn’t care about our safety - only appeasing those who want nothing to do with law, order, and safety.”

Follow the author of this article: Alyssa Rinelli