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St Paul (KROC AM News) -  Public safety officials have had it with speeding motorists on Twin Cities freeways and have launched a crackdown that will run for 10 days.

The effort will have extra state troopers on patrol from 7:00 pm - 1:00 am each night.

A State Patrol helicopter will also be available to go after drivers who don’t pull over.

A Minneapolis group is criticizing the plan and wants it stopped immediately (see below).

The Minnesota Dept. of Public Safety says one area where the enforcement effort will be concentrated is I-94 between downtown Minneapolis and I-694. The department says “The targeted operation will focus on traffic safety while providing an increased law enforcement presence in an area with public safety concerns. “

The department says the crackdown stems from a meeting last week involving the Minnesota Police Chiefs and Sheriffs associations to discuss ways the State Patrol could expand its efforts to support local law enforcement agencies as they address crime in their communities.

“Some drivers are speeding for no reason, while others are fleeing police after committing a crime,” said Col. Matt Langer, chief of the Minnesota State Patrol. “These HEAT patrols will increase our presence on the freeways so we can stop speeders and catch criminals who attempt to escape. If you don’t pull over we’re going to find you with our aviation assets.”

An activist group is criticizing the enforcement effort on I-94 between downtown Minneapolis and I-694. Communities United Against Police Brutality group says that stretch of the freeway “runs through communities of color including North Minneapolis and Brooklyn Center.”

The group added:

“The ostensible purpose of this program is to “stop speeders and catch criminals” according to the State Patrol media release. However, the State Patrol has made it clear that they will stop people for other infractions such as expired license plates or having items hanging from the rearview mirror.

There is no evidence that people are more prone to speeding or committing crimes on the targeted stretch of highway than on any other. Instead, this appears to be the kind of discriminatory targeting of people of color that led to the death of Daunte Wright. It is not lost on us that Brooklyn Center is one of the targeted communities. Communities United Against Police Brutality condemns all discriminatory law enforcement activities and specifically condemns the State Patrol’s HEAT program. We demand this poorly conceived plan be curtailed.”

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