Gov. Walz Visits Duluth to Discuss what $300 Million Public Safety Proposal Could Mean for City

Duluth would receive about $1.5 million per year from the budget surplus for public safety improvements.

DULUTH, Minn.- Governor Tim Walz stopped in Duluth, as part of his statewide public safety tour to discuss what his $300 million public safety plan could mean for the city.

Duluth would receive about $1.5 million per year from the budget surplus for public safety improvements.

The Governor says it’s important these measures address not only crime and arrests, but the factors which can serve as causes like mental health, addiction, and poverty across the state.

“We’re all in this together and I think one of the dangerous things is to think ‘that’s in another community I don’t have to worry about it but what you’re seeing is even in the Twin Cities areas is that if you don’t address these issues they will spread to other areas if we don’t address and have this attitude: ‘we’re not going to allow carjacking’s or increases in violent crime, we’re also going to take that same tough stance on what’s causing this,” the Governor said.

Walz held the roundtable discussion with Mayor Emily Larson, Duluth Fire Chief Shawn Krizaj, and Police Chief Mike Tusken.

Chief Tusken said the department could improve customer service with new technology to alert people of the progress of their cases, and the estimated time of 911 calls.

“And generally the technology,” said Chief Tusken. “We know that in a perfect world the mayor would find money to have 200 police officers here in the City of Duluth but that’s likely not going to happen so it’s important for us to be able to purchase technologies that make us more efficient and effective.”

He also wishes more funds could go to the new DARE anti-drug program in area schools.

“We do have School Resource Officers but they don’t have the capacity or time to do that,” Tusken said. “So earmarking money that perhaps would bring back that program I think is important as well.”

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