Walz encounters opportunities, perils in being the incumbent during a crime wave

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DFL Governor. DFL Gov. Tim Walz stated last week at a press conference that the increases in Minnesota crime are “unacceptable .”


Although it felt and looked like a campaign event, it was an official press conference. Walz is the incumbent and can do official events that will help you reelection campaign. It’s a benefit Walz has in a close election.


However, one of the downsides for incumbents – having your record out there! – presented itself just before 4 p.m. Friday when the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension published a report showing that Minnesota’s violent crime incidence has risen nearly 22 percent year-over-year.


Scott Jensen (Republican challenger to Walz) responded quickly.


span style=”font weight: 400 While we all have felt and seen lawlessness on our streets, the crime report data today confirms that Minnesota is in a public safety crisis. Walz. Surprisingly, Governor Yet, Gov. Walz said yesterday that he will maintain the status quo in public safety. Jensen stated, “Clearly, the status-quo isn’t working.”

Walz announced that he would continue to support urban police departments in enforcement at the press conference. The DFL governor has ordered the Minnesota State Patrol, which has been providing extra patrols in the Twin Cities, to partner with local police to tackle street racing. Twenty more troopers, as well as helicopter and plane patrols, have been deployed. To pay for this extra state work, he also used $7 million of federal America Rescue Plan money.


Walz stated over the sound of light rail trains that “we’re here today because we acknowledge to everyone in metro area, statewide, and nationwide that the recent increases in crime have been simply unacceptable.”


span style=”font weight: 400 We’re here to tell Minnesotans this presence will remain there, it’s going be strong while at the exact same time we haven’t decreased our core mission for trunk highway traffic safety,” Walz stated. Walz stated that residents should expect the crime increase to stop or slow down.

The most recent state crime statistics span style=”font weight: 400 ;”>, are an example of the disadvantages of being boss. These numbers are not pretty. The murder rate increased by 185 to 200 between 2020 and 2021. This is in addition to the 22% increase in violent crimes. This compares with the 104 murders that occurred in 2018 across the state. The U.S. Department of Justice defines aggrieved assaults as any that are accompanied by the use of weapons or other means likely to cause death or great bodily injury. This is a jump of 6,693 from 2018 to 10,967 by 2021.


The first year that carjackings were separated from motor vehicle thefts was last year, so there are no comparisons with previous years. There were still 779 carjackings. These are car thefts that involve the threat or use of force.

Walz answered a question about why he made a special announcement that he would continue state law enforcement support for the Twin Cities. He said it was an unprecedented increase in support, and he again called for more money from Congress for overtime support and support for local police department.

He said that he did not believe this was a sustainable long-term plan. “This is not how it works anywhere in the country, but we are urging in support of that.” But will this continue? “We’ll keep doing it .” Both the top cop and he said that it was working.


span style=”font weight: 400 They’re catching bad people and they’re holding people responsible,” stated John Harrington, state Public Safety Commissioner. “That’s what I want everyone understand. We’re going after you .”


Public safety and crime have been top priorities of the Republican campaign agenda, with Walz and DFL Attorney general Keith Ellison being blamed. The surge that started in the summer 2020 was blamed on Walz and DFL Attorney general Keith Ellison. Some blame the pandemic that left young people trapped and desperate. Some blame the decrease in commissioned officers after George Floyd’s murder, the riots that ensued and the criticisms of police culture.


Whatever the reason, many departments across the country and state are reporting a reduction in their force due to increased departures and difficulties hiring. Wes Kooistra is the general manager at Metro Transit. He stated that his police force has 60 officers less than its budgeted deployment. This includes 30 officers from unfilled departures, and 30 officers from unfilled positions recently paid for by the Met Council.

MinnPost photo taken by Peter Callaghan
Scott Jensen hosted his own press conference in June to discuss his plans for fighting crime.


This was Walz’s latest high-profile initiative to combat crime and to counter the accusations of GOP candidates that he doesn’t do enough to stop it. Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan met Minneapolis school officials after the shooting death of a bus driver and the murder of a student. He also announced that he would be expanding so-called HEAT Patrols, which are freeway emphasis efforts. In July, he displayed



A table of illegal firearms



Law enforcement may seize the items.

In May , the first deployment of additional state troopers took place. The state increased its anti street racing presence in Minneapolis after the fireworks display that occurred in downtown Minneapolis on July 4. The patrol reported that it made 1,459 stops in the metro on the weekend of July 9 to recover six guns and make 45 DWI arrests.

Republican critics claim that even this slow response was not sufficient. In June 2021, House Republicans called for the State Patrol’s use to assist the Minneapolis Police Department. This was during the 2022 legislative session. According to a June MinnPost/Change Research poll, crime is a major concern with 63 percent of respondents saying that Walz’s job performance was either unacceptable or very disappointing.


Jensen took advantage of the disadvantages of the incumbent. Walz was in charge of the riots and arson that broke out after Floyd’s murder. There were also delays in the deployments of the state police and National Guard. The worst of the damage was done during the delay due to a miscommunication between Walz, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey. The unrest was stopped by the deployment and the appeals of community leaders and church leaders to keep the streets clear.


Walz was also in office during the recent crime surge in most American cities. However, a disagreement with the legislative Republicans over a bill to respond has caused an impasse in his requests for more funding for local police departments.


Jensen hosted his own press conference in June to discuss his plans for fighting crime. Regional news media covered it as well. Jensen demanded tougher punishments for carjacking and a ban on bail payments by non-profit organizations for those who are arrested for major offenses. He also called for increased scrutiny of judge appointees who practice “catch andrelease” for repeat offenders. Jensen also demanded that prisoners receive more literacy and skills training and that he would deploy his National Guard immediately – and preemptively, if law enforcement indicates it is necessary. In the Floyd trial, Walz deployed the National Guard several times before the jury. )


span style=”font weight: 400 ;”>”It begins with one question,” Jensen stated on June 9. “Do you feel more secure today than you felt four years ago ?”


There is a big difference between a challenger’s plan and an announcement by a governor. Jensen was announcing his plans if elected while Walz can talk about his current activities.


Walz was asked about Jensen’s plan and stated that it had a significant gap.


Walz stated that it had no funding the day after the primary.

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