In the neighborhood, the North Central Business Watch began organizing in February. They have a Facebook page with more information and meeting schedules. Their aim is to “get ahead of the activities on the street,” and to watch out for problems of drugs and other crime.
At the second meeting, at the end of March, businesses handed out no trespassing signs, so that police can arrest people if they hang out in a parking lot and refuse to leave when asked.
About 16 people came to the first meeting, and about the same number at the second meeting. Rice Street beat officers also attended the meeting. Any business in North End in St. Paul can join and attend the meetings — they don’t have to be on Rice Street. The businesses report to each other if something is going on in the neighborhood, and also communicate with police beat officers.