June 3, 2022

Public Safety and Community Outreach

We need to give our law enforcement the tools to guard the public, build trust and collaboration with the community, and return safely home each day. As someone with prior military service and immediate family in law enforcement, I understand the importance of ongoing training. MGPD trains at the North Metro Regional Public Safety Training Facility located in Maple Grove, which will soon receive a state-of-the-art upgrade to accommodate de-escalation and scenario-based training, enabled with virtual reality technology and role playing. This facility is an important asset not only to us, but also to several other agencies.

Yet, training alone cannot ensure public safety, as outlined in the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing final report . Law enforcement is a difficult and stressful career that takes a toll on an officer’s physical and mental health, and without residents’ collaboration, everyone is less safe. MGPD has identified one of its values as “engaging citizenry and community organizations to define and accomplish service needs and to plan thoughtfully for growth and diversity.” We must acknowledge that some residents are hesitant to call the police out of fear, and if crimes are not reported, they cannot be solved. Building trust between the police and public can be accomplished through programs available through the county, such as the Joint Community Police Partnership and the Embedded Social Worker program , which several surrounding suburban cities have already adopted. Other ways to enhance trust and transparency could be to create a public-facing dashboard of aggregated monthly incident statistics and annual traffic stop data, similar to the City of Roseville’s data sharing initiative .

I am your neighbor who answers the call to service and works hard for you in many capacities.

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