Residents in St. Paul’s Lowertown neighborhood in Minnesota are growing increasingly frustrated over the rise in crime rate in the city. The situation has gotten so bad that community members are now referring to St. Paul as a “garbage can” and consider it unsafe. During a recent town hall meeting, many speakers cited open drug use, public lewdness, burglaries, and sexual assaults as the contributing factors behind this environment of anxiety and apprehension.
One individual even considered obtaining a concealed carry permit for his safety, highlighting the growing fear felt by many residents in the area. However, the root of the problem appears to be the light rail trains and platforms, which have become hotspots for criminal activity. The majority of people attending the meeting stated that they have witnessed constant crime and disorder in these areas, particularly late at night and into the morning.
Residents of Saint Paul, Minnesota, say rampant crime has turned the Democrat-run city into "a garbage can":
"It's been allowed to become like that — and it's sad and it's pathetic"
"I feel like getting a license to carry because of my fear" pic.twitter.com/flCj0nBqvK
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) August 15, 2023
The situation has become so dire that one speaker mentioned that the city had experienced fatal shootings at the next light rail station down the street. The need for transit police in these areas has become paramount, as many speakers stressed that there is nobody on the light rail unless there is a football game, a baseball game, or a concert taking place. This lack of security has resulted in an environment of anxiety and apprehension among residents.
These criminal activities are overwhelming law enforcement officers in St. Paul. Policemen responding to 911 calls are unable to do so in a timely manner due to the high number of calls they receive in a row. “A lot of calls are pending for an inordinate amount of time, and it’s not because the officers have something better to do,” stated St. Paul Police Central District Commander Jesse Mollner.
St. Paul Deputy Police Chief Jack Serier told MinnPost in October of last year that this problem is due to their low recruitment and high numbers of people leaving the department, just like Minneapolis has faced similar issues. The number of people available to apply for a job at the police department has decreased, while the number of people retiring or leaving the department has increased. These opposing curves have made it difficult for law enforcement officers of St. Paul to fill their needed positions.
The situation in St. Paul is causing great concern among residents, who want their city to be a safe and secure place to live. However, given the current lack of law enforcement, it appears that crime and disorder will continue to rise until steps are taken to solve the issue.