(Washington D.C.) – Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek was among a group of delegates from Minnesota selected to meet with Vice President Joe Biden for a roundtable discussion at the White House Complex on Tuesday, February 17. The discussion was focused on innovative best practices to address the issue of violent extremism.
“Violent extremism is a local threat, so local law enforcement agencies should be on the front lines helping educate and strengthen our communities to prevent or disrupt these threats. The key is to overcome barriers by building trusting and lasting relationships; this creates resiliency,” said Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek.
This afternoon, Sheriff Stanek was among approximately 50 officials, including U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger, who attended the meeting with Vice President Biden and senior White House officials. During the discussion, Sheriff Stanek talked about the importance of building strong, personal relationships with community leaders including Imams, business professionals, coaches and parents. Sheriff Stanek encouraged working with family members to help them identify behaviors that may be cause for concern. He also proposed increasing the number of programs available to youth as well as more facilities to host those activities.
Today’s roundtable discussion was part of the White House Countering Violent Extremism Summit hosted by the U.S. Department of Justice. Tomorrow, Sheriff Stanek is scheduled to give a brief presentation at the Summit describing community engagement, outreach efforts and initiatives demonstrated by the Sheriff’s Office in Hennepin County. He is among a group of representatives from Minnesota who traveled to Washington D.C. to take part in the three day Summit at the request of U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger. Representatives from approximately 60 countries are expected to attend the Summit.
The Twin Cities along with Boston and Los Angeles, were chosen by the White House to participate in a pilot project with the task of developing a program that can be modeled and implemented by other communities.
Last week, the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office released a video aimed at strengthening relationships between law enforcement and the Somali community. The video discusses the public safety responsibilities of the Sheriff’s Office, opportunities for community members to connect with the Sheriff’s Office, and describes the Sheriff’s Community Engagement Team (CET). View the video at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOKFx2fOnqU