Safety Camp, Day 1

Police Chief Jim DeMann, Smokey, Sparky, Fire Chief George Esbensen and McGruff at the Opening Cermony

Today 152 soon-to-be 3rd-graders and their counselors took over Riley Lake Park for this year’s annual Safety Camp.

The counselors, who are members of Eden Prairie’s Police, Fire and Parks and Recreation departments, helped their campers rotate through various safety activities including bullying prevention with CLIMB Theatre, street maintenance safety, Xcel Energy power safety and personal safety.

Tomorrow will be another full day of Safety Camp fun!

The purple team learns about bullying prevention from CLIMB Theatre

The red and blue teams get safety tips from Xcel Energy

 

 

Share the Road

Share the RoadSummer is here which means more people will be walking and biking around Eden Prairie. Unfortunately, each year in Minnesota approximately 35 pedestrians and seven bicyclists are killed as a result of collisions with motor vehicles, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety which reviewed data from 2011-2015.

The EPPD believes that safety on our streets is a shared responsibility between bicyclists, pedestrians and drivers. All groups must obey traffic laws, use good judgment and be alert. All groups should operate distraction-free and expect the unexpected in order to stay safe.

Here is a refresher on Minnesota laws regarding sharing the road.

Bikes

Give Them 3

  • Bicyclists may ride on all Minnesota roads, except where restricted.
  • Bicyclists should ride on the road and must ride in the same direction as traffic.
  • Motorists must at all times maintain a 3-foot clearance when passing a bicyclist.
  • Bicyclists must obey all traffic signs and signals, just like motorists.
  • Bicyclists and motorists must yield the right of way to each other.
  • Bicyclists must signal their turns and should ride in a predictable manner.
  • Bicyclists must use a headlight and rear reflectors when it’s dark. To increase visibility, add a rear flashing light.
  • Bicyclists should always wear helmets.

Pedestrians

  • Drivers must stop for crossing pedestrians at marked crosswalks and at all intersections without crosswalks or stoplights.
  • Pedestrians must obey traffic signs and signals at all intersections that have them.
  • Vehicles stopped for pedestrians can proceed once the pedestrian has completely crossed the lane in front of the stopped vehicle.
  • Pedestrians must not enter a crosswalk if a vehicle is approaching and it is impossible for the driver to stop. There is no defined distance that a pedestrian must abide by before entering the crosswalk; use common sense.
  • When a vehicle is stopped at an intersection to allow pedestrians to cross the roadway, drivers of other vehicles approaching from the rear must not pass the stopped vehicle.
  • Failure to obey the law is a misdemeanor. A second violation within one year is a gross misdemeanor.

School’s Out!

School is out and kids will be spending more time out and about in Eden Prairie. Here are a few tips to help keep your kids safe as they explore the freedoms of summer.

Curfew
Curfew is established by Hennepin County and is enforced year-round:

Children under 12: Weekdays – home by 9 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays – home by 10 p.m.

Children Ages 12-14: Weekdays – home by 10 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays – home by 11 p.m.

Children Ages 15-17: Weekdays – home by 11 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays – home by midnight

Leaving Your Children Home Alone
There is no state law specifying at what age children can be left at home alone. However, Hennepin County Child Protection does have age-related guidelines for juvenile self-care. These guidelines are used by child welfare workers and police officers as an evaluation tool when they are called to a home where children are home alone. The guidelines are:

  • Children under age 8 should not be left alone
  • Ages 8-10 can be left for a couple of hours under certain circumstances
  • Ages 11-14 may baby-sit with the expectation that a parent will return later that same day
  • Ages 15 and older may baby-sit for more than 24 hours

When left alone, a child should know where the parents are and how to reach them. The child should also feel comfortable with the situation and know emergency resources. Before leaving a child home alone, the emotional maturity of the child should be evaluated by the parents. Ultimately it is the responsibility of parents to ensure that their child is cared for in their absence. Parents may be held accountable for the decision to leave child alone.

For more information on determining whether your child is ready to be left home alone, review ChildCare Aware of Minnesota’s checklist to aid in your decision-making.

Citizens Academy Applications Sought

2016 Citizens Academy Class

Have you ever wondered what it’s like behind the scenes at the EPPD? Well, here’s your chance to find out!

The EPPD is currently accepting applications for its Citizens Academy, a free six-week class that covers traffic enforcement, use of force, DWI enforcement, communications/911, the SWAT Unit and investigations.

Citizens Academy will run for six sessions on Tuesday evenings Sept. 12–Oct. 17 from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Dinner is provided. There is no cost for this event as it is funded by the Eden Prairie Crime Prevention Fund.

By submitting the application [PDF] you are entering a lottery to be chosen as a participant in the Eden Prairie Police Department Citizens Academy for 2017. There is no guarantee that you will be called to participate, as space is limited. The application deadline is Aug. 18, 2017. You will be notified via phone by Aug. 25 if you have been chosen to participate.

Before you apply, please note:

  • Participants must be at least 21.
  • Participants must live or work in Eden Prairie.
  • Participants are asked to make a commitment to attend each of the six sessions.
  • Participants must pass a simple background investigation.
  • Each evening includes a light meal followed by instruction time.

If you have any questions, please contact the EPPD at 952-949-6200.

Stop the Trafficking Run

Stop the Trafficing RunHave you ever wondered if there’s something you could do to help combat human trafficking? Well, this weekend you have an opportunity to make a difference by participating in the Stop the Trafficking Run at Purgatory Creek Park (13001 Technology Drive) in Eden Prairie. The 5K run/walk is Saturday, June 10 at 8:30 a.m. and you can register in advance or on race day. 

A team comprised of representatives from the EPPD, local churches, businesses and the City of Eden Prairie’s Human Rights and Diversity Commission are working together to plan this event in cooperation with local anti-trafficking organizations. The goal is to join together as a community, raise awareness and engage in the fight to “Stop the Trafficking.” All proceeds from the race will be designated toward organizations working to help sexually exploited youth in our surrounding communities.

One of the EPPD’s initiatives for 2016-17 is to combat human trafficking in Eden Prairie. Human trafficking is a form of slavery where people profit from the control and exploitation of others. It is a growing problem across the U.S., Minnesota and here in Eden Prairie. Last year there were nine arrests for human trafficking in Eden Prairie.

The EPPD is taking a several-pronged approach to combatting human trafficking including conducting prostitution stings, working with local hotels and educating officers, community organizations and the public on how they can help put an end to these horrific crimes.

We hope you’ll join us on June 10!