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Community, Fargo police talk improving downtown safety

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FARGO—It's the smallest but possibly the most dangerous area of the city.

On any given night, especially weekends, you'll find many people walking the streets in downtown Fargo.

Many will say they feel relatively safe amid all the crime that happens there.

Even so, police and the Fargo Downtown Community Partnership met Thursday to address concerns about crime in the area.

In total, officers got more than 18,000 calls to downtown alone in 2016.

While they say assaults are one of their biggest concerns, which increased 24 percent last year, they see property crimes the most.

"We see a lot of people that will go to the bar and leave their purse sitting at the table or leave a phone sitting at the table when they go up to the bar," said Fargo Police Lt. Chris Helmick. "That's probably our biggest frustration is just property crime."

Around midnight, crime tends to spike downtown, reaching around 57 calls an hour.

During that time, police say public intoxication and urination are their biggest problems.

To help keep the area safe, police say they have 24-hour patrols and will increase the amount of officers in the area by the end of the year.

Amy Unrau

Amy is proud to be a Red River Valley native and cover stories that matter to her community. She was raised in Hallock, Minnesota and received her degree at the University of North Dakota where she participated in the student run TV show Studio One. In college, Amy met her husband, WDAY’s Jody Norstedt, while interning at WDAZ in Grand Forks. She started at WDAY in April 2014 and is currently WDAY'Z Xtra News at Nine's anchor and producer. Have a news idea? Amy would love to share your story or investigate an issue you’re concerned about.

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