Duluth Police Chief Meets With Downtown Businesses, Talks Increased Patrols In Parking Ramps

Duluth, Minn. — When downtown Duluth business leaders talk about safety issues in the downtown area, parking ramps top the list.

Police Chief Mike Ceynowa addressed those concerns with a new plan Thursday during a luncheon with dozens of business owners.

“Interstate Parking, beginning Monday, February 13 is going to bring an enhanced security presence to the Tech Ramp,” said Police Chief Mike Ceynowa. “Two security officers will be on 24/7 in the Tech Ramp. Once the Tech Ramp becomes stabilized, they will move down to the Hart Ramp.”

The police department is also working with the Human Development Center’s Crisis Response Team, which is partially funded by the city. When officers encounter a person who is not engaged in dangerous behavior, but needs help, that team will be called in.

“We want to continue to find people supportive services in our community, so that we don’t continue to rinse, wash and repeat on this cycle. Because we know that happens a lot. These are tough cases to work,” Ceynowa explained.

Meanwhile, the city’s attorney is making a weekly stop at police headquarters to look over repeat offender cases.

“A lot of these people have more than one charge, more than one conviction for trespassing. We are using an enhancement to the statute where they can be charged with a gross mis(demeanor) Ceynowa said.

Ceynowa also said it’s important to get more people working and enjoying downtown to help move out bad behavior.

“That kind of activity tends to drive out people who are suffering some of these things. They do not necessarily want to be seen utilizing narcotics, or to a point of intoxication from alcohol that they can’t function, or to be in a mental health crisis out in the public eye,” Ceynowa said.

Ceynowa also encouraged businesses to bring employees back to the office instead of remote working to help add to the population downtown. He said the more people on the streets and in the Skywalk, the safer those areas will be.

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