Shop with a Cop

group-shot-croppedLast Saturday, 11 EPPD officers volunteered their time for the department’s second annual Shop with a Cop event. The officers partnered up with a child for an afternoon of shopping followed by a pizza party at Davanni’s. It’s a great outreach program that showcases the warmth and joy of giving during the holiday season.

Shop with a Cop is sponsored by the Eden Prairie Crime Prevention Fund. The Crime Prevention Fund would like to thank Target, JCPenney, Davanni’s and the Eden Prairie Community Foundation for their generous donations. evan

How to Avoid Holiday Scams

scamsWhile the holidays are typically a time for peace and goodwill, this time of year can also be an opportunity for criminals to take advantage of holiday shoppers. Here are a few tips to reduce your chances of getting scammed during the holidays.

Online Markets – If you plan to purchase items through an online market such as Craigslist or Facebook, make sure you follow these suggestions:

  • Only deal with local people
  • Transfer money in person in a well-lit, public area – not your home
  • Do not accept cashier’s checks, certified checks or money orders – accept cash only
  • Never give out your financial information

The EPPD receives calls from residents regarding fraud cases every week. In mid-November a man met with a woman at Eden Prairie Center to sell her a cell phone he had posted for sale on a Facebook group. When he showed her the phone, she grabbed it and fled in the car she was sitting in.

Another scam involves victims being sent cashier’s checks for items they’ve posted for sale on Craigslist. The victim cashes the check then sends the item, only to find out that the cashier’s check was fraudulent as the check contained stolen names and checking account numbers.

Fake Emails – Residents have also reported that they’ve opened emails that look like they come from legitimate companies asking for credit card information or to confirm an identity. The emails are fake and are generated by scammers trying to gather personal and financial data in order to commit identity theft crimes. Legitimate financial institutions, such as banks and credit card companies, never send emails asking for personal information. Only give personal information when you have initiated the call.

For more tips on avoiding scams check out the Federal Trade Commission’s website.

Drop Off Toys for Tots Here!

Toys for TotsBeginning today through Dec. 14, Eden Prairie’s City Center, Community Center and Senior Center will serve as Toys for Tots drop-off sites. Look for the Toys for Tots logo near the front desks of each building.

Toys for Tots accepts new, unwrapped toys and games for kids at locations throughout the Twin Cities (they cannot accept clothing, food or liquid products).

In addition, from 3 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10, EPPD staff and a squad car will be in the atrium area outside the lower level of JCPenney at Eden Prairie Center to collect toys.

Law enforcement has a unique relationship with Toys for Tots. Each year employees from agencies all over the Twin Cities collect toys and load them into squad cars for a procession to the KARE11 studios in Golden Valley where the toys are unloaded and eventually distributed to children who would otherwise not receive a holiday gift.

Happy Thanksgiving

happy-thanksgivingDuring this week of Thanksgiving, the EPPD would like to take a minute to thank the residents of Eden Prairie for their unwavering support of our department. This past year has not been an easy one for law enforcement across the country and we realize how fortunate we are to serve a community that works with us to create a safe place to live.

Every week we receive heartfelt messages of thanks and support from our residents. These notes do not go unnoticed. They are circulated amongst our staff and help to keep us motivated and positive. Here are a few excerpts from messages we’ve received in the past year:

  • “My son is biracial and unfortunately his peers and the media have taught him to distrust law enforcement. That moment with that officer likely saved my son. Your kind officer asked my son to look past his uniform and to just see a man who cared standing there. That interaction changed my son. Slowly he’s started to trust again and he continues to look past the uniform and think of the man or woman behind it.”
  • “I have interacted with four officers…three for minor traffic stops. Each time the officers have been friendly with smiles on their faces. Getting pulled over is not fun but being confronted by a friendly officer vs a punitive officer makes a huge difference.”
  • “I would like to commend and thank your officers who helped me and my family with the loss of my sister. From the time I contacted 911 to the time your officer drove me back to my office, they were there to assist me and answer all my questions. I realize that they were simply doing their job, but that speaks volumes to the character of officers you have working in your city. They were professional yet caring and compassionate.”
  • “I wanted to pass on some positive feedback regarding one of your officers who stopped me for speeding. He was extremely efficient and fair during our encounter. I was obviously wrong and I appreciate the way he did his job in a friendly and professional manner.” 

We simply could not provide the level of service we do if we did not have the encouragement and trust of our residents. We thank you for your continued support and wish you a happy and blessed Thanksgiving.

Welcome Reserve Officer Parsons

Chief Jim DeMann, Reserve Officer Vicki Parsons and Lt. Dave Becker

Chief Jim DeMann, Reserve Officer Vicki Parsons and Lt. Dave Becker

Last week the EPPD’s newest reserve officer graduated from a six-week Reserve School hosted by the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office. Reserve Officer Vicki Parsons received instruction in a number of subjects including crime scenes, police K-9, water patrol, officer safety and law enforcement organization.

New reserve officers also attend traffic-directing school and first-aid, CPR and AED certification classes. In addition Eden Prairie reserves must complete a monthly department-specific training and complete a training manual.

Reserve Officer Parsons and her family have lived in Eden Prairie for 23 years. She is retired from Mesaba Airlines and will soon be attending school to become a certified corporate travel agent.

The Reserves are volunteer members of the community who assist officers with emergencies, community events and other special details.

Congratulations and welcome to Reserve Officer Parsons!