(The Center Square) – Minnesota State Patrol will continue targeting speeding and criminal activity in the Twin Cities through Aug. 24, the department announced Tuesday.
Highway Enforcement for Aggressive Traffic patrols began Tuesday in the Twin Cities metro area. The agency will release a schedule of statewide efforts in greater Minnesota in the coming weeks, it said.
Minnesota State Patrol will increase aviation support during the patrols to help find fleeing drivers, the release said.
Over 10 days in February, troopers stopped 516 vehicles for speeding and arrested 23 people on charges of driving while impaired and six regarding outstanding warrants, the agency said. The patrols focused on roadways around Minneapolis, including I-94 between I-694 and St. Paul, Highway 100 in northern Hennepin County, and Highway 494 and I-35E in the east metro, the release said.
Minnesota State Patrol Chief Col. Matt Langer said in the release that the department hopes to have local agencies work with it to increase the presence of law enforcement on Minnesota highways and freeways.
“The HEAT patrols are one way the State Patrol is expanding its efforts to support local law enforcement agencies as they address crime in their communities,” the release said.
Minnesota State Patrol Public Information Officer Lt. Gordon Shank told The Center Square Wednesday that the state patrol will continue current and past programs to provide assistance, primarily through traffic enforcement and aviation support.
Besides $50,000 in federal funding, the HEAT details have so far been conducted using existing budgets, Shank said.
The agency will deem the efforts a success if it seems reduced dangerous driving behavior, crashes and lower speeds along with increased removal of impaired drivers and apprehension of individuals facing warrants for criminal activity, he said.
Shank did not immediately respond to The Center Square’s request for comment regarding which federal fund has provided the funding, whether the department will be asking for more money from Minnesota legislators in the future and how the “reduction” would be defined.