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A pair of killings in Edina has renewed attention to the question of public safety in the fastest-growing part of the city.

A Richfield man was fatally stabbed the day before Thanksgiving on York Avenue, on the east side of Southdale Center. Then late Saturday, a man was shot and killed outside a strip mall on 70th Avenue, just behind the Galleria mall.

Edina Police Chief Todd Milburn said the city is looking to add six police officers over the next two years in response to the city's growth, and had already planned to station two in Southdale Center, near where the two men were killed.

"We're always going to be responsive to the development, and the increase in population," Milburn said Monday.

The Southdale neighborhood is the most densely populate part of Edina, and will only get more so in the years to come.

Edina has approved almost 500 new apartments in the area since 2021, with hundreds more proposed. Southdale Center mall is hoping for more traffic with a new Kowalski's grocery store and revamped restaurants. A renovated public library is on the horizon, with a campus that will include more parks and trails.

Starting in January, Milburn said, two officers will be stationed in Southdale Center, and the mall's ownership is planning to build a police substation in the mall. The main Edina police station is about 3 miles away, and Milburn said officers stationed at the mall could respond faster to incidents in the area, such as the two recent killings.

The mall has been locked down twice in 2023 because of gunfire. An apparently accidental gunshot in the mall in January left one man hurt and spooked shoppers. In April, gunfire outside led to a mall lockdown.

Milburn said malls are seeing upticks in crime, both in the Twin Cities and nationally with smaller problems like shoplifting, as well as violent crime.

Milburn said police would keep on top of activity in the growing area, but said Edina is subject to the same post-pandemic crime patterns as the rest of the Twin Cities metro.

He said he does not think the two homicides in Edina over the last month indicate any issues specific to the city or to the Southdale neighborhood, though he said more residents and visitors could mean more crime.