David's Blog

Monday, September 14, 2009

Keeping Crime Down in Downtown

Earlier this summer, my Chamber colleagues and I completed a walking tour of First Street during which we stopped in every business located between City Hall (on the west end) and SMDC (on the east end). We queried each of the fifty-four business owners and operators regarding their view of crime in the Downtown area.

We did so because we had heard from a few of our members who did business in the Downtown section of First Street and who believed crime was becoming a growing problem. Our tour clearly illustrated that although there were a few isolated areas of concern - especially at certain times of the day - First Street remains a safe and vibrant place to do business and enjoy visiting.

After completing the tour, we shared our findings with Police Chief Gordon Ramsey. He, in turn, was gracious in sharing with us the plans he was even then (May, 2009) implementing to intensify the City's crime fighting efforts in the Downtown.

Four months have now passed since the completion of our tour and the increase of crime fighting efforts. This is a list of those efforts which have been implemented:
  • Two new, energetic officers now routinely walk or bike through the Downtown.
  • Seven additional seasonal officers are now patrolling Downtown and Canal Park. This is the largest police presence in many years in these areas.
  • A new skateboard ordinance has been implemented in Canal Park. (There have been positive reports on the ordinance from business owners in Canal Park.)
  • Two additional plain clothes undercover officers have been patrolling the problem areas of Downtown.
  • Officers are working with the Downtown bars that have excess police calls and have placed the bars on police calls reduction plans.

The cumulative impact of these initiatives has resulted in a safer, friendlier Downtown Duluth. As a result, there are more people visiting and enjoying Downtown than in many past years. More arts and entertainment venues are drawing greater numbers of patrons. More people are residing in the increasing number of condominiums and apartments available in the Downtown, and greater numbers of tourists are concurrently making their way from Canal Park into our historic Downtown.

There has never been a better, safer time to enjoy the sights, sounds, and energy of our community's meeting place. I look forward to seeing you there.

Yours in support,

David Ross

President & CEO

posted by David Ross at


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