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Diversifying the police force

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Published on Sep 21, 2016

Most of the time, the beginning of an officer's day is the predictable part. Officers check equipment or prepare gear, small tasks to ensure they are ready when the day becomes not so predictable.
Cadets in Brooklyn Park perform the same tasks, working as community service officers during their education and training years. They learn the community while performing routine tasks like unlocking doors, checking on abandoned cars, or helping with traffic at the scene of a car accident.
"That's one of the things I love about law enforcement, there's something new everyday," says Camren Dearing, who is just over a month into his time as a cadet.
Cadet Stabe Vang says he needed a career change.
"I know the Hmong population and there's a large Hmong population in Brooklyn Park," says Vang. "I can bring that aspect to Brooklyn Park and hopefully when I become an officer, I can bridge that gap between policing and the community."
Brooklyn Park police hope to recruit a cross-section of recruits that represent the diversity of the city.
"We're trying to literally find diversity within the city borders and grow our own police officers," says Deputy Chief Mark Bruley. "They get trained, they go to law enforcement school and we also pay them to work here. Then, they graduate and become eligible to become police officers."
There are currently nine cadets in the program. Brooklyn Park police have also started using school resource officers in high schools to talk to students about possibilities in law enforcement. The hope is by attracting students to become police explorers, they can transition to the cadet program and eventually be ready to apply to be a Brooklyn Park police officer. When they reach the final part of that process, they have real world experience as well as a knowledge of the community under their belt.
"Every call is different for each and every person," says cadet Hassan Robertson. "Every day is a new day, every call is a different call."
Shannon Slatton, reporting
http://twelve.tv
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Channel 12 is on Comcast cable in the northwest suburbs of Minneapolis and includes the cities Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Crystal, Golden Valley, Maple Grove, New Hope, Osseo, Plymouth and Robbinsdale.

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