The award recognizes law enforcement agencies worldwide for outstanding community policing, a philosophy that’s about working with local partners to proactively address the conditions that lead to crime.
Hopkins was the winner for communities with populations smaller than 20,000 people.
“This isn’t a Police Department award; this is a community award,” Police Chief Mike Reynolds said, noting the support the department has received from local nonprofits, churches and other city departments.
Bob Jacobson, New Brighton’s public safety director, specifically mentioned Hopkins’ Operation Recess program when he presented the award on behalf of the association at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.
Operation Recess was sparked by the Police Department received in September. Police Chief Mike Reynolds challenged his officers to come up with the best way to use the money to help Hopkins youth. Officers spend recess time with students at Eisenhower Elementary and Alice Smith Elementary, playing organized games with the students and talking with them informally about bullying and making good decisions. Instead of wearing their uniforms, they wear Operation Recess T-shirts.
“As we review those community policing awards, we take a look at cities that truly believe in the community policing philosophy, that truly believe in community policing partnerships, that truly believe in problem solving,” Jacobson said. “And one of those things we found in that outstanding recognition, that outstanding awards submission, from Hopkins PD is that it was apparent that they truly do believe in partnerships and community policing.”