Sgt. Jeff Oxton of the St. Cloud Police Department’s Community Crime Impact Team tells the St. Cloud Times why police and university officials recently conducted a first-of-its-kind, door-to-door survey of the neighborhoods near St. Cloud State:
“This is an attempt to go out and directly reach each of those residents and ask how they are doing, are they having problems? We want to know what issues, good and bad, that they are seeing in the neighborhood and how we can as a city and as a police department and a university working together best solve those issues.”
The university is apparently trying to handle neighbors who have complained about the behavior of college students living around there.
The article has generated more than three dozen comments, usually about the effectiveness of police (and the program) and just who is causing the problems in the neighborhoods — students or nonstudents.
A Times reader named “centralMNmom” summed up the general concern about the area:
It’s a combination of issues. When we were looking to buy a house in St Cloud, the South Side neighborhoods were out completely because we didn’t want to deal with the college parties and the crime rate is way too high for us to raise a family there! We have three young children ranging in age from 7 down to 3 wks old. Their safety is our priority above everything else.
and someone named “littletotheright” wrote:
I give them an “E” for effort, but I don’t expect a miracle. A small number of college kids (Percentage-wise) are always making the news with the keggers and beer busts, etc. They’re the ones who have no respect for the laws, the school policies or their neighbors, and they make it miserable for everybody over there. Similar to the low-income housing in the same area. There are lots of people who live there because it’s where they can afford to get a roof over their heads. But then there’s the “rift raft” (that should be riff-raff) that are just criminals, or criminals in the making. It’s a lousy combination that gives the whole area it’s bad name. I hope that they find a way to weed out the creeps and let the rest have their neighborhood back.