In fence-mending move, Minneapolis police reach out to citizens at National Night Out events

  • Article by: Joy Powell , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 7, 2013 - 12:33 AM

Facing criticism over allegations that off-duty officers used racial slurs, police used Tuesday night’s gatherings to talk with Minneapolis residents.

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justanother1Aug. 6, 13 4:19 PM

If they need to be swarming the city and desperate enough to be asking for input on how to do a job and conduct themselves in a manner that is appropriate and professional, they better be volunteering their time to do gather this information and not getting paid overtime. They should view it as unpaid community service as criminal punishment if it has come to this point.

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kkjerAug. 6, 13 4:54 PM

MPD needs to reach out to the many HR people in the Twin Cities who deal with this type of thing in the private sector. As a retired police officer who has gone back to school and obtained a PhD in HR and organizational development, there is lot of training to done and not just how to treat to minorities. They need training in a lot of areas, that could be called business needs and the police department needs to look at themselves as a business. Having been there myself for over 20 years, I understand that it is tough on the streets, but there are many more customer service people in business who get yelled and screamed at and manage to maintain their cool. Certainly CS people in business don't run into the dangers a cop runs into and I don't know any who have to carry a gun, but that having been said most departments don't provide the officers with problem solving tools and that I think is where MPD is very deficient.

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lordhawhaw1Aug. 6, 13 5:36 PM

Those who are lumping all police together and even implying they deserve unpaid community service as criminal punishment need to take a step back. I would never work for Minneapolis PD. The press bash you every chance they get. The brass abandons you if it is politically expedient and the citizens you risk your neck for day in and day out are not worth it.

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MagicAug. 6, 13 7:57 PM

Only in liberal Minnesota is our Mayor and Police Chief more concerned about an Officer using the N word than the actual CRIME in the city. Do you really think the victims of these violent crimes care if a Police Officer uses the N word?

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furguson11Aug. 6, 13 8:25 PM

Humm.. 85 teams of two?, not an insignificant percentage of the police force of 840. Maybe 4 hours of OT if they are not on regular patrol equals 680 hours. At $40/hour would be about $27k. This is just a down payment on re-establishing community relations. The price of bad behavior keeps rising.

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avejoeconAug. 6, 13 8:41 PM

If all our jobs are dependent on what we say off duty while having a little fun, we are all in trouble. Funny how ONE word, uttered once, is suppose to end someone's life as he/she knows it, but the same word is used hundreds of times in songs by the same people that are supposedly offended by it.

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tabowmanAug. 6, 13 8:48 PM

I believe the Police Chief is on the right trackc when she says the department will be reviewing the hiring and training practices the police employees go through. However, review is not enough. It seems as if some of the police officers have a misguided sense of their own importance or their own power; especially when they are out of their uniforms and out of their jurisdictions. I question how police officers have gotten so conditioned to believe in their own power, their own sense of rightness? Do they receive too much militaristic training or spend too much time on video combat games? Does the administration leave out the training in community-building skills, cultural awareness and the innate validity of human life? Something is really wrong with the police department and it needs to be fixed, because visiting with people on National Night Out is only a stopgap measure. Tracie A. Bowman

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awblnewAug. 6, 1310:20 PM

The word uttered is a symptom of the bigger problem of respect and dignity that is at the root of the bigger issue of violent crime and the residents of the North Side know it, even if Magic does not. Avejoecon dislikes the hypocrisy of certain individuals and even groups regularly uttering the word as common practice while sworn officers and others leaders in the community are held to a higher standard. Again, it's about respect and dignity-all of ours. If community leaders can't live up to the standard, get another job. There should be no confusion about the dignity and respect of our leaders, for themselves or for those they serve.

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mikepemulisAug. 7, 13 7:09 AM

On National Night Out, I want to hang out with my neighbors. I want to get to know them. I don't want to talk to the cops (however friendly the conversation is) and I for sure don't want a sales pitch from roving politicians. Next year, MPS and politicians, attend your own block parties. Let neighbors have fun together and not serve as a captive soundbox for whatever political agenda is on the docket that day.

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avejoeconAug. 7, 13 8:11 AM

Again, it's about respect and dignity-all of ours. If community leaders can't live up to the standard, get another job. There should be no confusion about the dignity and respect of our leaders, for themselves or for those they serve.-----------------Yes, I expect dignity and respect. If this happened on duty, It would be one thing. These happened off duty. One happened over a year ago. The other out of state. Neither group were on duty. Again, your job should not be dependent on watching EVERY single word you utter while with friends off duty. Especially when the word you supposedly offended someone with is a word that nearly EVERYONE has used at one time in their life and is used routinely by those supposedly offended by it. This should not even be news.

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