About 75 people attended a special celebration last Tuesday marking the expanded capabilities of the Minneapolis Police Department’s West Broadway Safety Center, in the John Williams Dentistry Building, 1014 West Broadway. The Center actually opened, but without sufficient operational resources, about a year ago. Mayor RT Rybak and Police Chief Tim Dolan pushed for getting the Center open in response to the escalating street violence and crime on and near West Broadway. It was hoped that the Center would put a face to the police department on the avenue.
The grand opening last week highlighted the Center’s mission and expanded resources. Said Rowena Holmes, Community Crime Prevention (CCP-Safe) officer stationed at the center, “We are connecting police department resources and networks to provide information and referrals to social and business services for area residents and businesses. We have a paralegal professional and a police officer assigned here full time. And we believe our presence here serves as deterrence to crime.”
Hicks is right. The city has reported a 40% decrease in crime in the area in the past year.
At the open house, guests were invited to hold community and business meetings at the center, using the conference room space; and encouraged to use the facility for community meetings as well. Guests were told they were welcome to drop in at any time for coffee and conversations, or even to use the telephones.