St. Paul's first Somali cop 'will be a great thing' for city

  • Article by: CHAO XIONG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 4, 2012 - 9:57 AM

Garaad Sahal graduates today from the academy and hits the street on Saturday.

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hans0899Oct. 3, 1210:10 PM

Lucky guy! guess theres no chance he's gonna fail field training after they make this story. No wonder I didnt get hired with six years of military service, a bachelor's degree and leadership training...

vins0010Oct. 3, 1211:08 PM

It's important that the police force look like the communities it serves. While I think it is possible to have culturally-sensitive officers of different backgrounds, it usually doesn't happen. I don't think most who are attracted to police work are bent that way, you do the next best thing, just try to get officers of the different backgrounds. You may see him as less qualified, but, in a lot of ways, he's has more experience than most new officers. He worked with the MSP police dept (as a community officer) for years before this. This isn't true for most guys on the force. He also came from a refugee camp in Kenya; he's had to work 10 times harder to get half of what a lot of us take for granted.

misssykk1Oct. 3, 1211:18 PM

I worked with G at the MOA. He is a good guy and will do well for the City of St. Paul. Congrats G!!

AdamSeOct. 3, 1211:37 PM

I think it's borderline offensive to say a police force should "look like the community it serves," but it's great

barqeysteOct. 4, 12 6:55 AM

hans0899, don't give up on your dream and keep pursuing it! Thanks for your service, check out SFPD (San Francisco Police Department), need folks and hiring now! One of the best PD departments in the nation. As for Garaad, we all wish him a good luck and hope he passes FTO. It's definitely a great story and it shows if one works hard he/she can achieve the American dream. Good luck on Saturday and be safe!!!

BroonieOct. 4, 12 7:02 AM


turgidOct. 4, 12 7:47 AM

Thanks goes to everyone who wears a uniform both at home and abroad. As far as Hans0899's comment - while military service is without question valuable experience for police work, I'm guessing that departments probably factor things like community policing experience in as just as important, given that most of the job is dealing with citizens. Good luck on your path and hope you catch on with a department soon.

pamelap12Oct. 4, 12 8:58 AM


fourvoiceOct. 4, 12 9:19 AM

I look forward to the day when hiring a minority is common enough that it isn't newsworthy anymore.

aviendhaOct. 4, 12 9:56 AM

I'm guessing that if the guy can survive being a refugee from one of the worst war-torn areas on the planet, he can pass field training. For crying out loud, the guy GREW UP in an area most people would consider a combat zone. The fact that despite the obstacles he's had to overcome, that he did so and that his first priority is community service speaks very well for him. Talk about leadership training. We could use more cops like this, and maybe not so many who think they should've gotten the job because they have a piece of paper and took some classes.

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