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Minneapolis police precincts hold open houses to connect with community

Minneapolis Police invite public to precinct open houses
Minneapolis Police invite public to precinct open houses 02:02

MINNEAPOLIS— The Minneapolis Police Department is focusing on an effort to rebuild, recruit and relate. Throughout the week, the department is hosting open houses at each of its precincts.

"It absolutely breaks down barriers," MPD Inspector Billy Peterson said.

Tuesday afternoon, MPD's 1st and 3rd precinct hosted a joint open house. It was a chance for residents, business owners, families and more to meet and interact with the officers serving their community. The open house included a variety of specialty units—from the bomb squad to the horse patrol.

"I think it's awesome to just increase visibility and meet the faces that work behind the scenes," Ally Bumgardner said.

From fellowship to food, the event was a family affair.

"You know, Minneapolis PD gets a bad rap for unnecessary reasons and we don't get to hear about all the good that they do," Dejohn Bonner said. "I definitely think it brings a positive impact to the community."

Inspector Peterson says when it comes down to it, it's about building relationships.

"All too often we are interacting with them on what would be their worst day," he said. "This is a way for them to come out and have conversations. Normal conversations with police officers. For them to understand we are human being with family and friends—like anybody else. Those relationships are built through activities like this."

The activities, MPD hopes, will boost its enforcement team, too. With hundreds of positions still open, recruitment is an effort Lt. KeHeung Anderson works closely on.

"We're not trying to just take on anybody," he said. "We obviously want quality candidates that can do the job well."

Beyond engaging with potential candidates at events like open houses, Lt. Anderson says they do outreach work with high schoolers and even adults working in different industries. MPD will pay for training to draw in more interest.

"If you're a person that wants to get into law enforcement, to have the biggest impact, there's no better place than Minneapolis," Anderson said.

MPD is hosting several open houses this week. For a full list, click here.

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