I think we all appreciate now more than ever efforts by police departments to increase transparency, communication, and representation with the communities they serve. Relationships are key in law enforcement work, and I applaud the departments and officers who continue to strive to build these relationships with every member of their communities.
Last week, the Waite Park Police Department announced that it had applied for and received a grant from the state of Minnesota for its Pathways to Policing program. Pathways to Policing strives to recruit candidates who are interested in law enforcement as a profession but are currently working in another field. This grant gives Waite Park Police Chief Dave Bentrud the opportunity to hire additional officers who will have both the passion and the ability to become an officer and then start building these relationships even if they are from different professional backgrounds.
According to Chief Bentrud, grants will cover academic and skills training for new officers, and potential candidates can have any degree in any field. The goal of this flexibility is to recruit candidates who are interested in serving their community regardless of their financial situation. They are also looking for individuals who have the ability to diversify the police force professionally and culturally.
I am excited to see who the Waite Park Police Department’s newest officers will be. Thank you to all who have stepped up and answered the call of public service to keep us safe each and every day.
P.S. – If you have a #ThankACop story to share or an officer to highlight, please email us at [email protected]. We look forward to hearing from you!