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Council Account

The Mayor and Active City Council Members take turns and write an article for the Maplewood Living publication each month.  This is a digital replication of those articles.  

Feb 27

Maplewood Police Department – Ever Evolving, Always Serving

Posted on February 27, 2018 at 6:52 AM by Chad Bergo

It’s hard to imagine the days when the Maplewood PD consisted of a constable and a few deputies. As Maplewood grew from a conglomeration of villages into an incorporated city by 1957 to today’s fully developed suburb, city leaders have sought to change, refine and improve the system of services to meet the needs of a growing and diversified community.

This service evolution includes a professional public safety system, a full-service public works department, a business and environmental development department, and an envied park and trail system. It ensures the community maintains a high quality of life for everyone in a financially and operationally sustainable manner.

For example, Maplewood Police Department’s 52 sworn officers wear body cameras and well-equipped duty belts. A professional civilian staff keeps them informed in the field with state-of-the art records technology systems. Everyone, from those on the job a few weeks to the chief, have attended extensive, nation-leading training.

We can best understand and appreciate their dedication and level of service when we comprehend their mission, policies and plan of operation.

21st Century Policing
– Long before former President Barack Obama commissioned a task force and released a report on best practices in 21st Century Policing to build community trust, transparency and legitimacy, Maplewood PD had established and was practicing many tenants of the final report’s key pillars. New Public Safety Director Scott Nadeau is committed to building relationships with the community with programs such as Coffee with a Cop and outreach in our schools. The Maplewood Police department is committed to examining its records to ensure cultural bias isn’t influencing enforcement. It’s also striving to ensure training is relevant to what officers need to know in the field.

Police Department Strategic Plan 2018
– The police department recently completed its first strategic plan to ensure officers and command staff are meeting community expectations and are accountable for carrying out the plan. It emphasizes community-oriented and problem solving policing, building community relationships, better utilizing technology and implementing a health and wellness guidefor officers’ physical and mental fitness.
Analysis of 2017 Enforcement Action – Chief Nadeau recently released the department’s first comprehensive enforcement action report. When looking at discretionary arrests (where officers have the option to take enforcement action) and demographics, it suggests that officers are not exhibiting bias in their enforcement. It also identifies key demographic changes and highlights certain disparities in non-discretionary enforcement (where officers are mandated by statute or department policy to take an enforcement action). This latter finding highlights broader societal factors that need further exploration.

New Training Initiatives – The department is working to ensure officers’ training goes beyond the tactical mandates. One key training goal is to ensure officers are prepared for crisis intervention and de-escalation, especially when confronting someone struggling with mental illness.

To learn more about recent Maplewood Police Department goals, please visit their website. It is my hope that seeing this information will help us all to be aware of, and appreciate the dedication, values and accountability of the Maplewood Police Department.

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