Thursday, October 16, 2008

SLP Citizens' Police Academy, Part 1

I'm participating in the Saint Louis Park Citizens' Police Academy. Last night was the first night.

The first half of the night was introductions and a history of the city as it applies to the Police Department. It was interesting, and I wish it would have covered more, but links were provided to flesh out the details.

Interesting fact: As little as 15 years ago, the SLPPD union was represented by the Teamsters.

The second half of the night was a review of the philosophy of SLPPD policing. They really strive to maintain a culture of cooperation with the community, not "Us vs. Them". It's impressive how much they want to be a service-oriented department. It's a pervasive part of the SLPPD culture. I know the academy is partly a propaganda mission, but the mission statements were on every wall in every hallway. They want this to be their department culture, and they are proud of it. It shows in their real-world dealings with the general public, too. I've had several opportunities to interact with the police here, and I've never had cause for complaint.

Interesting fact #2: SLPPD requires quarterly shoots, instead of the "standard" annual shooting qualification.

We also got into a discussion on the recent history of the "problem" areas in town.

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