Community Engagement Division
In recent years, law enforcement officials and community leaders alike have stressed the need for more "engagement" between the public and the police. In particular, they have called on departments and community members to work collaboratively to keep communities safe.
"Community engagement" has come to describe everything from ice cream socials to serious discussions about department practices. All of these forms of police-community interaction are important for building relationships and improving trust. But real engagement is more than just conversation. It means giving the public a voice in how our community is policed.
The Community Engagement Division consists of 1 Commander and 3 Sergeants that supervise the personnel assigned to the
- Community Response Team (CRT)
- Community Crime Impact Team (CCIT)
- Housing Redevelopment Authority (HRA)
- Crime Prevention
- School Resource Officers (SRO)
- Community Response Team (CRT)
- Community Crime Impact Team (CCIT)
- Community Outpost
- Eyes on the South Side (EOSS)
- Crime Prevention
- School Resource Officers (SRO)
- Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)
- Co-Responder Team
- Child Response Initiative (CRI)
Community Response Team (CRT)
The St. Cloud Police Department identified the need for a specialized team to investigate, locate and arrest violent offenders in 2021. By redistributing resources within the Community Engagement Division, the initiative became know as the Community Response Team (CRT).
Comprised of a supervisor and 6 officers, the CRT Team has a primary focus of community engagement through youth programming and activities both in the COP House region of the city as well as outreach to other areas of the city as needed.
The secondary purpose of the CRT team is call response and investigation of violent felony level crime within the city limits of St. Cloud (priority to COP House geographical area). The team specializes in the location and apprehension of wanted violent offenders or fugitives from the Saint Cloud Region and can project their resources statewide working in conjunction with other agencies.
Community Crime Impact Team (CCIT)
The Community Crime Impact Team (CCIT) is a specialized team consisting of a Sergeant who is the team leader, 2 police officers and a Community Service Officer who assists the team in areas related to crime prevention and reduction.
Duties of the CCIT are significant and cover a wide variety of tasks including:
- Screen police calls for service and investigations in assigned patrol sectors.
- Identify neighborhood concerns and facilitate responsive problem solving.
- Participate in community events and meetings.
- Engage and liaison with business owners, public and private organizations, criminal justice entities and individuals to effectively problem solve.
- Organize and promote community based crime prevention programs including Neighborhood Watch, Eyes on the South Side and the Citizen’s Police Academy.
- Monitor and participate in community events that have significant attendance like "Summertime By George".
- Assist in the monitoring of predatory offenders and participate in all predatory offender meetings.
- Works directly with the homeless community and homeless outreach advocates to help those experiencing homelessness find long-term sustainable housing and additional community resources.
- Works directly with multiple Community Action Teams designed to help individuals who are experiencing mental health related issues and identify community resources for long-term support.
The St. Cloud Police Department has actively been working to establish a community-oriented policing program in an effort to build relationships within the area. As a way of ensuring the safety of our family, friends and neighbors, the department looked to establish Community Outposts throughout neighborhoods known to have high crime rates.
The idea for the St. Cloud Rotary Richard C. Wilson Community Outpost originated from the Racine Wisconsin Police Department and was a new approach to protecting community members by moving into areas of high crime.
Assistant Chief Richard C. Wilson
November 25, 1956 - February 18, 2015
Based on this model, the St. Cloud Police Department was able to research a location for the Department’s 1st Community Outpost. The location of 600 13th Street South was chosen with the help of the Greater St. Cloud Public Safety Foundation. Currently, the Outpost is owned by the foundation and has been named in honor of the late St. Cloud Police Assistant Chief Richard C. Wilson, a strong advocate of community-oriented policing who succumbed to cancer on February 18, 2015.
600 13th Street S
St. Cloud, MN 56301
Eyes on the South Side (EOSS)
Eyes on the South Side (EOSS) is a collaboration between the St. Cloud Police Department and property owners and residents within the central south side of the city that borders the university campus. This area is comprised of over 80% rental properties.
Quality of life issues, both real and perceived, concerning crime, safety, public nuisances and the visual peace and quiet of this neighborhood generated the need for a problem-oriented policing strategy. EOSS is intended to foster communication, interaction, cooperation and trust between the participants and to maintain the pride of ownership within this unique core neighborhood. The key components of the EOSS program are to:
- Facilitate continuous interaction between the police and the residents of this core neighborhood.
- Train, educate and support permanent and temporary residents in crime prevention and reduction strategies including personal safety, burglar proofing, safeguarding personal property and neighborhood watch principles.
- Train, educate and support licensed rental property owners and managers in best practices that will lower police calls for service and raise the quality of life while maintaining both the landlord’s and the tenant’s rights.
EOSS Rental Home Inspection and Validation
Licensed rental home owners and managers in this targeted area can request to have their property inspected and validated. The process involves an onsite inspection and verification that the property meets certain nationally recognized Crime Prevention premises and Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) standards. The inspection is conducted by a crime prevention certified member of the police department and no fee is required for the inspection or validation. For a home to be validated, the following minimum criteria must be met:
- Adequate external natural surveillance (see and be seen).
- Adequate external lighting of entry and exit doors, parking areas and any identified vulnerable areas.
- Adequate type of exterior doors, i.e. solid wood, metal coated or metal.
- Deadbolt, touchpad, or other approved lock with a minimum one-inch throw on exterior doors.
- Security or reinforced strike plates for each deadbolt, touchpad or other approved lock.
- Adequate key accountability and key control procedures.
- Window locks on ground floor windows, upper level level windows less than 18 feet above ground and those subterranean windows that may be used for emergency egress. All window locks must open without using keys or tools.
- House number posted and clearly visible.
- Tenant personal property protection measures. Examples are: Requiring tenants to maintain personal property records listing brand, model and serial number information; the posting of advisory signs or labels as property protection reminders; or tenant participation in crime watch meetings with police representatives.
The intent of the inspection and validation within this targeted area is to provide assurance to renters and prospective tenants that the owner or manager is employing police department recommended best practices that can significantly reduce the risk of crime victimization while they inhabit that property
Crime Prevention Definition
The most widely accepted definition of crime prevention is: the anticipation, recognition and appraisal of a crime risk and the initiation of some action to remove or reduce it.
Crime Prevention Goal
The goal of Crime Prevention within the city of St. Cloud is to maintain strong police-community relations between the St. Cloud Police Department and the citizens of St. Cloud through informational and education programs and services that positively influence the quality of life in our community by:
- Reducing crime or the fear of crime.
- Increasing the knowledge of citizens in "pro-active" crime prevention strategies.
- Training the community in a wide-array of crime prevention approaches.
- Providing home and business security assessments.
- Encouraging and training citizens to participate in "Watch" activities.
Crime Prevention Training and Education
Training and education sessions are offered through the St. Cloud Police Department to the public at no charge as a public service.
They can be modified to fit the individual need of your group, organization or business. They can be presented at a location of your choosing or we can arrange to use a training room at the police department.
We recommend a minimum of 6 to 10 attendees and require advance notice to schedule a session. Refer to the Contact Us information listed to the right to inquire about training and education sessions.
Popular topics include but are not limited to: Personal Safety; Identity Theft; Cons, Frauds & Scams; Counterfeit Detection; Drug Awareness & Education; Burglar Proofing Your Residence; Safety in The Workplace; How to Work With the Police and Community Watch Programs.
School Resource Officers
The School Resource Officer (SRO) unit consists of a Sergeant and 5 Police Officers that are assigned to the various schools located within the City of St. Cloud and School District 742. The principle role of the SRO’s is to develop and maintain positive relationships with youth. The SRO Program offers a unique opportunity for law enforcement and education to work collaboratively and to enhance the safety of the educational environment. SRO’s participate in Summertime By George, Police Athletic League (PAL) and St. Cloud Youth Leadership Academy (SCYLA) activities when school is not in session.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)
Since 2017, the St. Cloud Police Department has equipped and maintained an operational Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) program. The use of this technology has been instrumental in improving the agency’s ability to
- Conduct search and rescue operations
- Monitor risks associated with the gathering of large public events
- Conduct threat assessments for significant events
- Assist officers in locating at-large criminal suspects or vulnerable children and adults
- Assist police officers in conducting high risk operations
From 2017-2020, the Saint Cloud Police Department operated in accordance with their policy and the rules and best practices published by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on UAV usage. On December 21st 2020, the agencies policy and use of UAVs was unanimously approved during a public hearing with the Saint Cloud City Council in compliance with Minnesota Statute Section 626.19.
Below is the link to view the policy for the Saint Cloud Police Department’s use of Unmanned Arial Vehicles (UAV’s).
Public comments concerning this policy and feedback from the public can be emailed or mailed to:
St. Cloud Police Department
101 11th Avenue North,
St. Cloud, MN 56303
Attn: SCPD UAV Program Management.
The St. Cloud Co-Responder is a licensed mental health professional who is embedded in a law enforcement setting to respond with crisis intervention trained officers to behavioral health related 911 calls. The Co-Responder functions as part of CMMHC's (Central Minnesota Mental Health Center) Crisis Response Team.
This duo of police officer and mental health professional provides on scene behavioral health evaluations, problem identification, crisis interventions and treatment planning. The Co-Responder also provides consultation to police officers while responding to mental health related calls.
Referrals are placed for clients, when appropriate, as a way to link to services and resources such as primary care, housing, social services, mental health treatment, chemical health treatment, etc. This position is collaborative with not only law enforcement, but also the hospital emergency department, human services and other community providers.
For more information about the program, visit the CMMHC website.
St. Cloud Area Child Response Initiative
The St. Cloud Area Child Response Initiative, CRI, is a secondary program that addresses the needs of children and families exposed to violence and trauma in the St. Cloud area, which includes the cities of St. Cloud, Waite Park, and Sartell. CRI provides a coordinated community response to children (0-18 years of age) and their families who have experienced any type of trauma or violence through using a trauma-informed framework focused on safety and empowerment. CRI advocates, police officers, community providers and mental health professionals work together to support your child and family after an experience of violence or trauma.