Community Relations

Have A Questions For The Police Department


Continuing the Conversation Q and A

As we continue the conversation with the community, we would like to answer one of the questions that we received over the last week.

The question reads:

How much structured situational training do your officers go through annually?

Do your officers go through unarmed training in BJJ or anything else?

How much of you annual budget is spent on continued training for the officers?"

Answer

Minimally, on an annual basis, all of our officers receive four hours of situational use of force training however we typically train up to eight or more including simulated shooting, decision making, and in service. Additionally, our officers have access to our simulator throughout the year for additional training during their patrol shift.

We do not train a specific martial art. We do use and train in some control techniques that are based in Judo and BJJ, but those techniques are simplified to ensure officers can be proficient without significant outside training.

Our annual budget for training is typically $70-$75k. This budget is utilized for all state mandated training as well as elective opportunities officers may request to attend.

Thank you for the question and helping us continue the conversation. If you have a question go to BlaineMN.gov/PoliceCommunity to submit your question.

As we continue the conversation with the community, we would like to answer one of the questions that we received over the last week.

The question reads:

"Does crime typically increase during the summer months? What role do you think the pandemic may be having on crime rates? Have your officers experienced being targeted due to possible tension with the black community?"

Answer

Yes, we typically see an increase in calls for service during summer months. There are several reasons for this increase. The most obvious may be that kids are out of school therefore they are more active in the community and they may be out later in the evening and into the night. Another reason for the increase in calls for service is people typically have their windows open during the summer months which can lead to an increase in suspicious activity calls.

Regarding whether or not the pandemic had a role in the crime rate, it is a little difficult to say. We did see an increase of domestic related calls for service during the initial months of the stay at home order however our overall calls for service were lower compared to the same period last year. Last year we responded to 3,197 calls in April and 3,919 calls in May. This year we responded to 2,845 calls in April and 3,326 calls in May.

Overall our officers have experienced a tremendous outpouring of support from the community. There have been some instances where our officers have experienced some negativity from community members but this rarely occurs.

Thank you for the question and helping us continue the conversation. If you have a question go to BlaineMN.gov/PoliceCommunity to submit your question.

As we continue the conversation with the community, we would like to answer one of the questions that we received over the last week.

The question reads:

"With the recent news of city’s intention to defund the PD, we are concerned that we will have less police officers to protect us. Should we be expecting less protection and higher crime rate? Can you also talk about the releasing of inmates and if the crime rate increased? Should we be concerned about our safety?

Answer:

Thank you for your inquiry about defunding the police and jail inmates being released into our community and increasing the likelihood that crime will increase.

Here at the Blaine Police Department, we enjoy widespread community and political support. We operate under a Mission Statement that has three core values that guide us in our day-to-day operations. Those core values are: Integrity, Respect and Professionalism. Strict adherence to those core values throughout the agency and holding our officers accountable has only increased our community and political support and there is no widespread political movement within the City of Blaine to "defund the police" as you hear occurring in larger, more urban cities around the country.

Since the pandemic began in April there has been a trend among Anoka County judges to try to limit crowding in the jail environment. This effort has manifested itself in suspects of property crimes not being held in-custody but rather being given a court date to return at a later date to be held accountable. Person crimes (assaults, robberies, etc.) have been handled in the usual manner with suspects being held for arraignment, trial and when convicted, incarceration. While we are not experiencing any significant increase in crime in Blaine, the Anoka County Jail inmate population has increased significantly as of late, an indicator that crime in Anoka County has in fact increased. There is no way to determine cause and effect in this particular case. There are many factors that contribute to the ebb and flow of crime rates but it is safe to assume that suspects of property crimes being released into the population may increase repeat offenses rather than reduce them.

We at the Blaine Police Department are committed to public safety. If you have any concerns please don't hesitate to contact us.

Image may contain: one or more people and outdoor, text that says 'Continuing the Conversation BlaineMN.gov/PoliceCommunity

Message to the Community

Your Blaine Police Department is committed to working in partnership with others in our community to make this the greatest place it can be. A couple years ago, we worked diligently to build a foundation of ideals upon which our organization is built. All members of the Blaine Police Department are expected to memorize and live this mission statement and integrated core values. That mission statement reads:

’As proud members of our community, we, the members
of Blaine Police Department, strive to enhance the quality of life
in Blaine by serving with integrity, respect, and professionalism’.

‘As proud members of our community…’

We take great pride in what we do and it is an honor to serve you in good times and in bad. In policing, one of the current problems we have is when we talk about police-community relations; we treat them like two distinct entities. This creates a foundational separation rather than unity. In the belief that we are members of our community, we take ownership in our collective successes and failure. We are an important part of the community, with the ability to not only keep you safe but take away the freedoms and even possibly the lives of others in our community. I can assure you we do not take this lightly and believe strongly in the sanctity of life for everyone here.

‘…we, the members of the Blaine Police Department…’

Our mission statement is intentionally written to reflect an oath of sanctity. We take our responsibilities seriously and recognize the critical importance of the functions we provide. We believe it is truly an honor to be part of this profession and this incredible department.

‘…strive to enhance the quality of life in Blaine…’

We are always working to make Blaine a better place. This certainly includes our residents, but additionally those who work here, the millions who visit here every year, and travel through here. We are fortunate to play host to many events for people from all over the world. We want your lives and your time here in Blaine to be the best that it can be.

‘…by serving with integrity, respect, and professionalism…’

Integrity, Respect and Professionalism are our core values. Integrity: we will maintain the highest moral standards by embracing the principles of trust and honesty. In the law enforcement profession, our integrity is imperative. We often have a difficult job to do but it is important we are always truthful and honest with those we serve as well as ourselves. Respect: we will treat others with dignity and guarantee the constitutional rights of all. It is our job to not only enforce the law, but protect the constitutional rights of all those who we serve. We believe in compassionate service to others and treating everyone with respect regardless of the circumstances we are encountering them on. In public safety we work with people from all walks of life and for many of the people who we encounter, their dignity and self-respect are all that they have left. It is imperative that we treat everyone as fellow human beings and respect them as individuals. Professionalism: we will take pride in our actions, duties, appearance, and professional growth. As professionals we take our role very seriously. We take our training seriously and we train our staff to the highest level possible. We believe in a professional appearance and conveying confidence and professional service to all those we are fortunate to serve.

In light of recent events across the country, we collectively feel it is important to provide a message to our Blaine community, especially our indigenous communities and our communities of color, and seek your assistance in ensuring that together we are providing the best services possible to you.

We have been contacted from many members of our community with questions, requests, and significant outpourings of support. We sincerely appreciate the support and we want you to know that we want to work collectively with you to make the Blaine Police Department the best that it can be for you.

We regularly evaluate our training and hiring process to seek a department that is reflective of our community.

Of greater importance is taking active steps to educate our staff on the variety of cultures we have in our community and the importance of treating all with respect.

We have strict policies in place to ensure accountability for our officers that specifically pertain to matters of racial bias. Our Administrative Services division supervisors actively monitor, review, and if necessary investigate, every use of force incident. If it becomes necessary to do an administrative employment investigation into a staff member we have the ability to do an investigation by internal staff specifically trained to handle this. We also hire independent investigators to investigate policy and employment violations. The administrative penalties associated with this can range from verbal counseling in less serious matters up to termination in very serious matters.

We are constantly evaluating our policing to ensure we are doing everything we can to prevent any injustice, including racial injustices. In late 2017, we did an internal policy review, including our use of force policy.

We also overhauled our use of force review processes to ensure transparency and accountability. In 2020 we are reviewing and amending our entire policy manual and overhauling all of them in conjunction with Lexipol, a National Law Enforcement policy company that not only ensures policies are legal and defensible, but best practices as well. All of our staff is subject to pre-employment psychological exams and mandatory annual wellness check-ins with a therapist.

When new officers start, within their first couple of days of employment, the command staff members sit down with them individually to talk about culture and expectations. One of the items we spend a considerable amount of time on is duty to intervene. We have to empower our officers to be brave enough to step in when an incident is occurring of excessive force or other significant matters.

Our city takes the training of our officers very seriously. Blaine has historically committed to high quality police training by providing the resources needed to conduct the best possible training. Better training leads to better performance under stress, which in turn ensures better decision making by officers in uncertain and rapidly evolving circumstances.

We are eager to listen and continue to engage with others in our community. We know that there may be difficult yet necessary conversations and decisions ahead. Together we will make Blaine an even greater community than it already is.

BlainePD Social Media

For up to date information, follow BlainePD on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, or follow BlaineMN on YouTube and Nextdoor.

Facebook
Instagram
Nextdoor
Twitter
YouTube

CommunityConnect Newsletter

To sign up, visit the link below and choose CommunityConnect under NotifyMe.

Sign Up for Email Updates Opens in new window