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Minnesota Legislature

Legislative News and Views - Rep. Melissa Hortman (DFL)

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Brooklyn Park's innovative policing program is worthy of state's support

Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Criminal activity in north-suburban neighborhoods is a paramount concern and is still affecting far too many communities in our area. Addressing this complex concern requires resources, innovation, and at times, practical, common-sense police work. I am encouraged by the collaborative effort between the Brooklyn Park Police Department and the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office this past week in their efforts to reduce crime in some troublesome areas in Brooklyn Park. This new initiative, the Neighborhood Action Program (NAP), is focused on reducing nuisance crimes that can often lead to more serious criminal activity. Proactive measures like this are making a difference. However, law enforcement agencies have been stretched thin in past years, Brooklyn Park especially. This legislative session we made positive strides toward a more complete investment in public safety for our communities. The wide-ranging public safety bill provided more than $2 billion in funding for Minnesota's law enforcement, prisons, court systems, and included critical public safety policy provisions. We added more police officers, judges and investigators to crack down on gang activity. In addition, the bill funded innovative programs to expand both the policing and the prevention of crime. The bill includes valuable crime-preventing measures such as juvenile crime prevention and youth mentoring programs and expands support for domestic-abuse victims. Also, we secured nearly $500,000 in additional money to be shared by police departments in Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center. These resources provide needed flexibility for our police departments, and allow more officers to be hired for valuable programs like the Neighborhood Action Program. As evidenced by this latest effort, our law enforcement officers are doing excellent work to enhance the safety of our neighborhoods. I am confident that our renewed investments in public safety, coupled with our well-trained police forces, are already making a difference. Melissa Hortman is a DFL state representative from Brooklyn Park.