The Community Engagement Division's work at the Saint Paul Police Department (SPPD) is guided by the strategic goals of the department: to diversify law enforcement personnel at all ranks, engage the community at historic levels, and reduce gun violence. The Step Forward activities build on each other each year, with outreach, youth services and recreational events creating opportunities for officers and residents to meet in an informal and non-confrontational setting. These connections are used to foster the trust needed to invite residents to join more difficult conversations.
During the summer the SPPD partners with local businesses to host Safe Summer Nights (SSN). The SSN program is designed to provide opportunities for police officers to become acquainted with residents of the neighborhoods they serve over a meal rather than during times of trouble. Other programs to engage with Saint Paul youth include the Police Activities league (PAL), the Explorers Program and the Capital City Bike Cops for Kids program.
"People ask me all the time how they can support our officers and the department through donations. I always tell them about the Foundation because it understands the needs of our community, officers and department and can help people make donations of all sizes.”
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