Save the Date — Public Safety Open House, Oct. 14

The 2017 City of Eden Prairie Public Safety Open House is Saturday, Oct. 14 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. This year’s Open House includes displays and vehicles from the Fire, Parks, Police and Public Works Departments. All departments will have their vehicles and booths located in and around Fire Station 1, located at 14800 Scenic Heights Road.

At the Police Department displays, you can dust for fingerprints with our Crime Scene Tech Unit, meet our SWAT team and try on their equipment, and climb around in a real squad car.

The event is free and includes free root beer, cookies and popcorn. Parking is available at the City Center parking lot off of Mitchell Road and street parking along Scenic Heights Road. We hope to see you there!

Become an Explorer! Learn More Sept. 19

Are you, or a young person you know, interested in law enforcement? Then join the Edina/Eden Prairie Police Explorers program!

Becoming an Explorer offers young adults ages 14-21 the opportunity to gain working knowledge of law enforcement through hands-on experience. That knowledge and experience could eventually lead to a career in law enforcement. Several of our sworn EPPD officers served as Explorers early in their careers.

The Edina/Eden Prairie Explorer Post meets every Tuesday night and participates in various conferences, including the National Explorer Conference every other year. In weekly meetings, participants learn more about all aspects of law enforcement through. Topics include crime scene processing, burglary response, first aid, search and arrest, white collar crime, hostage negotiations, interview and interrogation, and more.

To learn more, come to the Explorers informational meeting Tuesday, Sept. 19 at 6:30 p.m. at the South Metro Public Safety Training Facility, 7525 Braemar Boulevard in Edina. We’d love to see you there! If you have questions about the Explorer program, please contact the EPPD at 952-949-6200.

Citizens Academy Kickoff

Last night the 2017 session of the EPPD’s Citizens Academy kicked off. For the next five Tuesday nights, 23 community members will learn about various aspects of policing including Traffic, DWI, Investigations, 911 Dispatch, Crisis Intervention Training, Use of Force, SWAT and K-9.

Citizens Academy is a free program sponsored by the Eden Prairie Crime Prevention Fund. The purpose of Citizens Academy is to provide hands-on law enforcement experience to people who live or work in Eden Prairie in order to create a strong community network. Our hope is that participants will share their opinions and observations with their neighbors, civic organizations, friends and family to further develop our community network.

The EPPD relies on members of our community to help Eden Prairie safe. Citizens Academy is one way to personally and effectively achieve that goal.

Human Trafficking Detail

In late August investigators from the EPPD and other agencies conducted a human trafficking detail in Eden Prairie where they arrested ten men who attempted to solicit sex from a fictitious 15-year-old girl, which is a felony. Simultaneous details occurred in Plymouth, where five human trafficking victims were recovered, and in Bloomington where fourteen men were arrested for prostitution related crimes.

In the spring of 2016, investigators from Eden Prairie, Bloomington, Richfield, Minnetonka, Plymouth and Maple Grove formed the 494 Corridor Group with the goal to investigate crimes related to human trafficking along Interstate 494. These investigators work together to proactively look for sex trafficking victims and to conduct details that focus on the perpetrators. To date, we have collectively arrested 90 people and recovered 21 victims.

The EPPD has made it a priority to proactively investigate, respond to and prevent possible incidents of human trafficking in our community. To that end, we use a three-pronged approach to combat the issue: 1) victim outreach and recovery, 2) enforcement action against traffickers, and 3) enforcement action against demand. We also work to send the message to the community by speaking to civic, professional and liturgical organizations.

If you or someone you know is being sexually exploited or trafficked please call 911 or Safe Harbor’s Day One Hotline at 1-866-223-1111.

Collaboration for our K-9s

Recently the Eden Prairie Crime Prevention Fund received a $15,000 donation from the family of Dr. John Wright, the EPPD K-9 program’s first veterinarian who also helped establish the program in 1981. After his passing in September 2016, Dr. Wright’s family asked that the donation to the Crime Prevention Fund be used for the purpose of funding non-budgeted items needed for the K-9 Unit.

The K-9 handlers and supervisor identified the greatest need as new agility equipment for training including fences and boxes which are used to train the department’s two K-9 teams. The current equipment is old and needs significant repairs in order to be used safely. The K-9 team then began creating specs for the equipment they need. Once completed, they turned to the community for help.

The first stop was Home Depot, which generously offered the department a discount on the wood needed. The second stop was the Eden Prairie Senior Center whose woodshop members volunteered to make the equipment. Last, the department has been talking to both the Eden Prairie Senior Center and the Eden Prairie Art Center about recruiting volunteers to paint the equipment.

The equipment is expected to be ready for training by the end of September.

Thank you to all of our community partners and to the family of Dr. Wright for helping to make this project possible!