The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, Richfield Police and Bloomington Police partnered to hold a community conversation about the relationship between the community and police departments.
The Oct. 18 conversation started with a moment of silence for Aitkin County Sheriff’s Deputy Steven Sandburg, shot and killed earlier that morning in St. Cloud.
The discussion was held at Richfield Middle School. Police chiefs and representatives from both cities shared their respective community engagement initiatives. This meeting is in line with Pillar Four of the President’s 21st Century Policing Task Force recommendations – Community Policing and Crime Reduction. Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek facilitated the discussion.
“This past year has been difficult for police-community relations both national and here at home,” said Stanek. “I commend everyone who came out this evening to be part of a difficult conversation. Dialogue is a great first step on the path to healing the damaged alliance of law enforcement and community.”
“Tonight’s event was about building relationships and bridges with our citizens and community partners” said Richfield Police Chief Jay Henthorne. “We were able to show what our agency is doing in the community to continue our relationships and solicit community engagement.”
“The Bloomington Police Department places a very high value on community engagement activities just like this one,” said Bloomington Police Chief Jeffrey Potts. “We feel these events provide for more transparency and maintain open channels of communication with all of our residents.”
The Joint Community Police Partnership was a co-sponsor of the discussion.