Minnesota : Safety by City
- Brooklyn Park
- Detroit Lakes
- Fergus Falls
- Grand Marais
- Grand Portage
- International Falls
- Maple Grove
- New Ulm
- Red Wing
- St. Cloud
- St. Paul
- Two Harbors
Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, spans west of the Mississippi River, about 10 miles north of Minneapolis.
This is one of those suburbs that has something for everyone, from wanderlust adventurers to craft beer aficionados.
Brooklyn Park is just north of Brooklyn Center, two separate cities, but Brooklyn Park is the largest sibling city.
Brooklyn Park was named after Brooklyn, Michigan, which was named after Brooklyn, New York.
It’s a logical decision, but it also makes researching the city all the more challenging.
Just make sure you’re looking at the one in Minnesota with the 763 area code for businesses.
The city is bound on four sides by major highways and roads, with plenty of parks and river activities on the city’s east side and a shopping destination in Maple Grove to the west.
It was in Brooklyn Park where former WWE wrestler Jesse Ventura became mayor.
That political career led to him being the governor of Minnesota.
While Brooklyn Park has some great amenities, we have some safety concerns to discuss, so let’s get to it.
Warnings & Dangers in Brooklyn Park
OVERALL RISK: LOW
This is a hard one because Brooklyn Park isn't among the most dangerous cities in the Twin Cities area, but it has faced rising violent crime rates to the extent that the mayor said in 2021, "I’m scared to death of what 2022 is gonna bring us." Treat it with a medium risk, as this isn't a Stepford Wives type of suburb. There's grit to it, especially in certain neighborhoods.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
Brooklyn Park is on the Metro Transit route across greater Minneapolis and St. Paul. You can get a taxi, rideshare, or rental car easily. To avoid going through a dangerous part of town at a bus stop, it's better to use paid rides or a rental car.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW
Four pickpockets were reported in 2021, which is a low risk. The downside is that criminals are more likely to take things by force. You can lower your risk by avoiding certain parts of the city, which we'll discuss later.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: LOW
Brooklyn Park gets the same wicked weather throughout the year as all of the Upper Midwest. Snowstorms, ice storms, blizzards, and snow squalls are possible throughout the winter. Temperatures can be dangerously cold at times. Spring starts severe weather season, with intense thunderstorms, straight line winds, flooding, and tornadoes possible. You do need to stay weather aware in this community.
MUGGING RISK: LOW
Robbery rates are about 40% higher than the national average, and there's a brazenness to crimes involving weapons here. Stay off the streets at night, and don't fight back if you do face a robber. Don't intervene in a crime in progress, even with the best intentions.
TERRORISM RISK: LOW
International terrorism concerns exist in all major metro areas like the Twin Cities. Still, there's nothing you can do more than report suspicious activity, even if you question just how suspicious it is. After the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police officers, there will also be a risk of civil unrest.
SCAMS RISK: LOW
A major scene involving a food bank stole headlines for 2022, but it's not a risk a tourist would face, and the suspects have been held accountable. As with any suburb in a major metro area, avoid any pressure or threats to purchase items or demands for money by fake law enforcement officers. When in doubt, call 911.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: MEDIUM
There have been some unsettling headlines of rapes or attempted rapes in public spaces over the past five years. Women should use extra caution here, especially in the central part of the city. Treat it with a medium risk, and never go to a private place or party with someone you just met.
TAP WATER RISK: LOW
The 2021 Water Quality Report shows good marks across the board and no violations. You can read the risks of all tap water, even when compliant with federal standards, in the full report posted on the city's website.
Safest Places to Visit in Brooklyn Park
The city’s website has a section for visitors and things to do, which is the best place to start your search for activities and attractions.
There is also a website for Northwest Minneapolis that covers Maple Grove, Brooklyn Park, and Brooklyn Center.
The “Park” in Brooklyn Park is very descriptive of the most popular things to do here.
There are dozens of parks, including River Park that spans the length of the Mississippi River in the city.
On the city’s website, there’s an interactive map where you can select the activities you’d like to do, and it will show you the best parks to meet your needs.
River Park also has a Paddle Share program where you can get rent a kayak and paddles to explore as much of the Mississippi River as you’d like.
The trails go from the rural areas to the city, so check the maps on paddleshare.org to find the best starting and stopping point for your trip.
Eidem Park is the one must-see attraction in Brooklyn Park.
It’s a living history museum with historic buildings across 19 acres.
Events are planned at the park through each season, including movie nights, happy hour, and Christmas celebrations.
Brookland Golf Park and Edinburgh USA are two public golf courses in the city.
Ice skaters can access the rink during public skate times at the Community Activity Center.
Seven parks also have outdoor skating rinks as the weather allows.
At Wagner’s Drive-In, you won’t see a movie, but you’ll get a star-studded selection of home-cooked meals from a nostalgic walk-up diner.
Summer guests will also get to see hot rods and cruisers on display.
Bowlero Brooklyn Park is a perfect family-friendly destination indoors, with nearly 50 bowling lanes, laser tag, and an arcade with modern and classic games.
Places to Avoid in Brooklyn Park
Most of the city is a safe place to explore, but it’s best to avoid the neighborhood west of Noble Avenue and south of Brooklyn Boulevard.
Within that area, the area surrounding 63rd and Zane avenues is well-known as a crime hot spot.
While a public safety group regularly patrols the streets in bright orange shirts, it is still not a place where an average tourist should be driving or walking.
As you look further south, Brooklyn Center is more dangerous than Brooklyn Park.
If you are looking for a northwest Minneapolis suburb, consider Maple Grove over the Brooklyns.
There has been a growth of shoplifting crimes escalating to new levels of charges, like carjacking, assault, and gun crimes.
Two reports of stolen cars or carjackings at local Target stores should prove there is really no place safe enough to let your guard down.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Brooklyn Park
- Brooklyn Park has its own police department, as does Brooklyn Center and Maple Grove. I’ll credit Brooklyn Park for going above and beyond to be transparent with crime data. You can search an interactive map for up-to-date crimes or use the crime dashboard to see what types of crime happened in the different sections of the city over the past week, month, or year.
- Use the Tip411 app to report any suspicious activity you see. This is also good for reporting fresh graffiti, broken windows on cars or businesses, and drug activity.
- Check out the Crime Prevention Association section of the department’s website to get a list of safety tips, activities, and contact information to help with safety in the city. Tours of the new police department are also available, which would be a great time to ask specific personal safety questions while learning about the inner working of the police department.
- Brooklyn Park uses Ping4Alerts! to send out emergency notifications, including criminal activity, weather risks, and traffic troubles. Sign up through the Emergency Management department.
- The city hosts a podcast called The Wood, which is a great way to learn about the community, events, and safety guidance. Guests include the police chief, parks commissioner, golf course owners, and art influencers.
- As someone who grew up along the Mississippi River in St. Louis, I’m baffled that there are parts of it where you can kayak. The river is a mighty mean beast in my hometown, but here in Minneapolis is a recreation destination. However, you should know the risks. Check the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (PCA) website to get water quality information and check the river levels. A low-risk will move as slowly as two miles per hour, but a high river could carry you 40 feet in 10 seconds.
- For any river or lake, avoid swimming within 48 hours after heavy rain. Stormwater can pick up chemicals, bacteria, and toxins on the way to bodies of water. The PCA tests all lakes, but that’s done once a week. It won’t be helpful if you swim a day after heavy storms and the water is dirty.
- Anglers need a fishing license from the state Department of Natural Resources. Check the non-resident application section and look at the different stamps and permits that could come in addition to a regular fishing license.
- The DNR will be the first to tell you that “No ice is 100% safe,” but that doesn’t stop ice fishing and ice skating on lakes. You should never assume ice is thick enough for your adventure. Review Ice Safety before you go, and if you can’t measure the thickness of the ice on your own, keep studying. This one trick could be the difference between life and death.
- Coyotes do live in this area, and they usually leave people alone. A woman sitting on her front porch got quite scared when she watched a deer run by and then noticed a coyote staring her down. She escaped unharmed. “A coyote has probably chased a deer through her backyard regularly,” John Moriarty with the Three Rivers Park District said. “And it’s the first time that there’s been a person there. So it’s like, what are you doing here? And they’re not gonna attack people.”
So... How Safe Is Brooklyn Park Really?
If you’re from a major city with average or above-average crime, you won’t blink twice in Brooklyn Park.
It’s the people who aren’t used to violent crime, much less rising reckless violent crime.
It becomes especially concerning when the police chief makes statements like this:
“The amount of gun violence is just unacceptable. There’s no longer a shooting. It’s a shootout,” said Deputy Chief Mark Bruley.
“The police can’t do it alone. We need the community. We need the community’s trust, and we need them supporting us to do this.”
While the average tourist isn’t going to be a target of a violent crime, there are shootings at intersections and near parks that could leave you scared or caught in the crossfire.
One shooting left 40 shell casings on the ground.
There’s a trend of juveniles committing crimes because they know it won’t stay on their permanent record.
“People kill people over the littlest of things these days,” said Smith, the founder of Minnesota Acts Now.
“We see something, we report it to the police in real-time.”
On top of the violent crime risk, car theft doubled since 2017.
55% of all thefts were car break-ins, and shoplifting was the top category for thefts.
38% of violent crimes involved strangers in 2021, while 44% of violent crimes happened in private homes.
“I had no answers for the mayor or the community about why we had 250 people shot over the last two years, and our clearance rate is down here,” Police Chief Craig Enevoldsen said.
“And our clearance rate is down here because witnesses will not talk to us, victims will not talk to us, and that’s because the police are not legitimate, and that narrative continues today.
And that’s problematic.”
Brooklyn Park offers great options for a trip to the Twin Cities, but do your best to stay north of Brooklyn Boulevard.
Dress in thick layers for the winter and always wear a life vest when you’re on the water, especially on the Mississippi River.
How Does Brooklyn Park Compare?
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International visitors won't be able to get through Customs and Border Patrol without a passport and U.S. Visa. There are some countries where visas can be waived, but you need to check that list on the U.S. State Department website. Also, confirm your passport won't be within six months of expiring during any part of your trip.
You can't use any currency except the U.S. Dollar. Never use a public ATM to get cash or exchange currency. Banks can exchange for a fee, but you'll get much lower fees if you do that at your home bank.
Brooklyn Park gets four distinct seasons here, with an emphasis on winter weather and cold temperatures. Pack plenty of layers, so you can add or peel them off as needed. Even spring and fall can have volatile swings in temperatures, so those layers will also come in handy. Summer will be hot and humid, with bug spray essential for outdoor activities.
Brooklyn Park is about 30 minutes from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Plan for more time if you travel during the morning or evening rush hour. Use 511 MN to check road conditions at any point in your trip.
Even with a major airport, the pilots are at the mercy of the weather. With a severe weather risk throughout the year, you should consider travel insurance to cover the costs of re-booking, costly delays, or cancelations.
Brooklyn Park Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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Minnesota - Safety by City