Otsego, MN - Congressman Tom Emmer’s (MN-06) Community OutPost (COP) Outreach and Engagement Act has received the support of community leaders and law enforcement.
The COP Outreach and Engagement Act would establish a pilot program to promote the nationwide use of Community OutPosts as a means to help law enforcement engage and communicate with residents in their surrounding communities. Modeled after the successful outreach and engagement of the St. Cloud Police Department’s “COP House,” the COP Outreach and Engagement Act will provide federal resources to promote improved community-focused engagement efforts.
A COP House is a residential home where nearby residents can receive critical services and build relationships with local law enforcement in that community. With improved police-citizen communication, officers can more effectively establish trust and build rapport with the citizens that they are sworn to protect.
"Our Foundation believes strongly that support from the Federal level will allow other communities to replicate what we have been able to do in St. Cloud. We have revitalized this neighborhood and have made a significant impact on the residents of this neighborhood. Any effort that can be made to assist other communities in duplicating our efforts would most certainly go a long way to creating resilient neighborhoods and communities that work together in a spirit of trust and cooperation.” said Greater St. Cloud Public Safety Foundation Board Chair Bill Mund.
“On behalf of the St. Cloud Police Department, I would like to thank Representative Emmer for the introduction of the Community OutPost Outreach and Engagement Act. We feel that this legislation has the potential to carry the success of the St. Cloud COP House program to communities across the nation." said City of St. Cloud Police Chief Wm. Blair Anderson.
"Safe & Sound understands the value of Community Oriented Policing (COP). COP Houses, especially when they are utilized to bring resources directly to neighborhoods, embody the best of the COP philosophy. Providing social services and programs to residents, where they live, while also providing opportunities for police officers and the people they serve to have positive interactions builds stronger relationships and safer communities.” said Bree Spencer, Director of Evaluation & Technical Assistance at Safe & Sound Inc.
"On behalf of the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association (MPPOA), I am proud to express my support for the Community OutPost Outreach and Engagement Act. This important bill would create a national pilot program to support the establishment of COP Houses, like the one in St. Cloud, Minnesota.” said Brian Peters, Executive Director of the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association.
He concluded, “The St. Cloud COP House has built a bridge between our officers and the city we protect, and reduced crime. Now more than ever, we are hopeful that this legislation will give other cities across the nation the chance to create meaningful relationships and grow community trust and respect for their law enforcement."
Read the text of the bill here.