Collaborative Reform Initiative
Police Chief Update Summer 2020
As a public safety agency, the St. Anthony Police Department (PD) continues to work closely with other city service providers and our community to provide a safe place to live, work and play.
As communities across the nation and the world continue efforts in addressing the coronavirus (COVID-19), our PD has been adjusting practices and procedures to ensure the safety of our staff and members of the public in accordance with recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), Center for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization.
Modified policing services during COVID-19
Officers will continue to respond to all calls for service. However, as we monitor this situation and take note of ever-changing recommendations from health experts, we may be required to continue adjusting in-person services.
Residents may continue to encounter situations where low-priority calls are handled over the telephone or through a self-reporting form. Please know these are temporary measures as we work with healthcare partners, local first responders and emergency management partners, as we serve our communities. I encourage folks to contact the PD with any questions or concerns regarding current police operations.
The following PD services have been temporarily suspended during COVID-19:
- Citizen fingerprinting.
- Citizen use of the PD facility for groups/meetings.
- Citizen ride-along events.
- Public tours of the PD facility.
- Group events at the police department (Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, etc.)
We remain committed to working cooperatively and innovatively to address the challenges encountered by this viral illness and we ask our residents to engage in community hygiene practices as noted in guidelines set forth by the CDC and MDH. cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/share-facts.html
Efforts made by our police officers and City staff to monitor compliance related to social distancing, among other orders issued through the Office of the Governor, have focused primarily on education. I remain encouraged by the support received from our residents during this time to continue with Gov. Walz direction and recommendations.
Staying connected and sharing good news
Our Community Engagement Officers along with our entire staff have put a considerable amount of time and consideration into content for our social media platforms in an effort to stay connected and provide up-to-date information to those in our service area. As a result, our online impact and following has increased.
Recently, Lt. Diegnau responded to a call where he and the St. Anthony Village Fire Department (FD) personnel rescued several baby ducks from a storm drain. Lt. Diegnau became aware that a citizen had taken photos of the activity and asked for copies. Those photos were then sent to Officer Rushton who posted them on Facebook. KARE-11 saw the post and highlighted it during their evening newscast. This small yet thoughtful act reflected well on every member of our PD and FD that responded to that call for service.
We value our communities
Thank you for your continued support and patience. Please be assured that this modified level of service will not become the new normal for our agency. We will return to the high-level of personal customer service that we strive to provide as soon as possible.
City of St. Anthony and Department of Justice Continue to Work Together on Targeted Technical Assistance
January 10, 2018
The Department of Justice (DOJ) previously announced changes to the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Collaborative Reform Initiative for Technical Assistance (CRI-TA) to align the program with the principles outlined by the Attorney General in support of local law enforcement and the original intent of the authorizing statute. The changes were made effective September 15, 2017 and will provide targeted assistance directly to local law enforcement based on their identified needs and requests.
The City of St. Anthony and the St. Anthony Police Department remain committed to maintaining a partnership with the COPS Office that will allow us the ability to receive targeted technical assistance resources related to the Collaborative Reform goals and objectives, which were originally identified by the COPS Office during the initial assessment phase of the process.
The City of St. Anthony has been working with the DOJ in creating a Work Plan of tailored, targeted technical assistance based largely on their assessment and community input which preceded the release of our goals and objectives, adopted March 23rd, 2017. We anticipate the Work Plan will be released this winter and will be posted on our website.
At the beginning of the CRI-TA process, we agreed that participation in the CRI-TA program would not preclude any future investigations into the patterns and practices of our police department by the DOJ Criminal or Civil Rights Division. We are encouraged that to date, we have not been made aware of any issues related to the patterns and practices of this law enforcement agency that require an investigation.
Recently completed technical assistance in the areas of Fair and Impartial Policing and Procedural Justice have been very well received by the police department and our staff. Through this work we have been moved to create a broader awareness of these principles in order to enhance community trust and legitimacy. We are focused on improving community-oriented policing practices, transparency, professionalism, accountability, and public trust, taking into account national standards, promising practices, current and emerging research, and community expectations.
We greatly appreciate the technical assistance this collaboration has provided. We eagerly await the final draft of the Technical Assistance Work Plan so that we may continue working on our stated goals and objectives.
City of St. Anthony Selected to Participate in Department of Justice's Collaborative Reform Initiative
The City is pleased to announce that it has been selected for participation in the United States Department of Justice's Collaborative Reform Initiative for Technical Assistance (CRI-TA). CRI-TA is focused on helping cities find and implement ways to improve trust between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve by providing a means to achieve organizational transformation. The City requested this assistance with the goal of furthering continuous improvement within our policing efforts and citizen engagement process. In other words, the City is open to having national experts tell us what is working and what can be improved in implementing community oriented policing.
The CRI-TA uses assessment and technical assistance providers to coordinate the work through the involvement of subject matter experts, interviews, data and records analysis, research and analysis, and direct observations. The mayor, city council and staff are excited to begin this multi-year process of identifying issues and enhancing the relationships within our community. One of our fundamental goals is to create systems that are sustainable and able to become embedded within the fabric of our community.
St. Anthony's Role
The City has taken this step voluntarily. It is only the 16th city in the nation to be selected for inclusion in the program. The St. Anthony Police Department will be the smallest department nationwide to participate. According to Justice Department officials, approximately 75% of police departments across the nation are the size of St. Anthony's force of 23 officers. It is hoped that this process will not only bring positive change to our City, but serve as a best practices model for similarly-sized agencies across the country.
Goals and Objectives
The Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) developed a goal and objectives document specific to SAPD that outlines the issues to be addressed through the assessment: vehicle and pedestrian stops; community policing practices; recruitment, hiring, and promotional practices; and accountability.
The goal and objectives were developed through the information from the three listening sessions and engagement with a variety of stakeholders including the St. Anthony Police Department, the community, and government stakeholders as part of the site initiation phase. The COPS Office feels that these objectives represent the most pressing issues heard and observed. Each of these objectives are of critical importance and can have significant long-term value to St. Anthony, Falcon Heights, and Lauderdale, as well as policing nationally. The goal and objectives will be the roadmap for the Collaborative Reform assessment. The COPS Office will continually review these objectives to ensure they are meeting the needs of the department and the communities, and assess if something needs to be added or broadened based on the work.