On May 9, 2019, the Eagan Police Department hosted an event entitled “Building Bridges and Trust Between You and the Police”, where the goal was to engage in meaningful conversation, and provide a platform for people to speak openly with their police department. Much of the conversation involved trauma related to policing, ways to build trust and ways to improve police and community relations. The event drew 50 people who expressed their gratitude for putting the event together and providing an opportunity to be heard.
In the coming weeks, it is my hope that Covid-19 is beyond us where we can find an opportunity to do this again, as more than ever, we all need to find a way to heal together. In order for this to be successful, we need to enter into the conversation with the mindset of “listening first”, which will lead to thoughtful and respectful dialogue, and create opportunities to learn from one another. As your Chief, I can assure you we are committed to having a genuine conversation with our community members, but until then I would like to share some of the things we’ve done at the Eagan Police Department.
• In 2016, we created a Community Affairs Group which is made up of a diverse group of Eagan residents, where we seek their feedback, and we’ve discussed different aspects of policing.
• Seven of our officers are Implicit Bias instructors.
• Annually, we put our staff through Crisis Intervention and De-Escalation training where three of our officers are trainers
• Four out of the last five officers hired were women.
• We created a Cadet position in 2017, with hopes of drawing more diverse candidates.
• We changed our mission statement in 2019 to read:
The Eagan Police Department is committed to providing public safety and maintaining public trust by serving with respect and professionalism
Again, the purpose for this event will be to have meaningful conversations with our community members, where everyone will be heard. This is not intended to draw attention to ourselves, as I suspect very few people knew about last year’s event, and it will not be political in nature. Please continue to watch our social media sites and the city website for more information, and know the members of the Eagan Police Department are committed to making a difference in our community and we will look forward to seeing you at this event.