Governor Walz visits Duluth to discuss what the $300 million public safety proposal could mean for the city

Duluth would receive about $1.5 million a year from the budget surplus for public safety improvements.

DULUTH, Minnesota – Governor Tim Walz stopped by Duluth, as part of his statewide public safety tour, to discuss what his $300 million public safety plan could mean for the city.

Duluth would receive about $1.5 million a year from the budget surplus for public safety improvements.

The governor says it’s important that these measures not only address crime and arrests, but also factors that can serve as causes like mental health, addiction and statewide poverty.

“We’re all in this together and I think one of the dangerous things is thinking ‘it’s in another community, I don’t have to worry about that, but what you see, even in the areas of the twin cities is that if you don’t address these issues they will spread to other areas if we don’t address them and don’t have this attitude, “we’re not going to allow carjacking or the increase in violent crime, we will also take the same tough stance on what is causing this,” the governor said.

Walz held the roundtable with Mayor Emily Larson, Duluth Fire Chief Shawn Krizaj and Police Chief Mike Tusken.

Chief Tusken said the department could improve customer service with new technology to alert people to the progress of their cases and estimated 911 call times.

“And generally technology,” Chief Tusken said. “We know that in a perfect world the mayor would find the money to have 200 police officers here in the city of Duluth, but that probably won’t happen, so it’s important for us to be able to buy technology that makes us more effective. ”

He also wants more funds allocated to the new DARE anti-drug program in area schools.

“We have school resource officers, but they don’t have the capacity or the time to do that,” Tusken said. “So earmarking money that would maybe bring this program back, I think is also important.”