Community Patrols Expanded to More Brooklyn Park Crime Hot Spots
Shots-fired cases have gone up this year in Brooklyn Park and a local peacekeeping group is trying to do something about it.
Minnesota Acts Now has expanded its patrols to 63rd and Zane Avenues, where there has been at least three shootings.
“We’ve had a lot of incidents at this area. We’re just trying to change the temperature,” said Bishop Harding Smith, executive director of Minnesota Acts Now.
It’s the third such location in the city the nonprofit does patrols. The others are at Brookdale Drive and Yates Avenue North and at the Huntington Place Apartments.
Brooklyn Park police also recently installed a camera at 63rd and Zane as a further crime deterrent.
Residents Glad to See Team of Orange Shirts
Individuals with Minnesota Act Now get paid $20 an hour through a county contract to provide community engagement. Their hours vary, but their presence is expected during mornings and evenings. Visible in orange shots, the patrol workers are a bright spot for some people who live and work in the area.
“Every time I come here, I see a bunch of young boys here, lots of different stuff. So, it will definitely make a big difference,” said longtime Brooklyn Park resident Nelson Segbee.
Bishop Harding Smith says the key to violence prevention is to engage with young people.
“We’re talking to people. We’re instilling hope in people,” said Smith. “We’re trying to transform the lives of our young people, and we want to give them a different alternative from what now they have.”
Police have previously told CCX News that the community patrols have helped reduce crime. Minnesota Acts Now officials say loitering and other minor crimes are down and the group plans to be a presence until things change for the better. Meanwhile, some people are calling on police to do more to stop the violence.
“They definitely need to put more enforcement around areas like this,” said shopper Lonnie Leaks Sr.