K-9 Equipment Dedication

Photo credit: Tim Engstrom, Eden Prairie News

Last Friday, a group of community members came together to dedicate new K-9 equipment for the EPPD. The project started earlier this year when the family of the late Dr. John Wright, the EPPD’s first veterinarian, donated $15,000 to the Eden Prairie Crime Prevention Fund to be used for non-budgeted items needed for the K-9 unit.

After the department’s two K-9 officers identified the greatest need to be new agility training equipment, the department worked with the City’s Senior Center to find wood shop volunteers to build it. After a generous donation of wood from Home Depot and 247 hours of volunteer labor, the equipment is finished.

At the dedication ceremony last Friday, the K-9 team of Officer Scott Mittelstadt and Riggs were joined by members of Dr. Wright’s family, and some of the volunteer woodworkers and painters. Officer Mittelstadt and Riggs demonstrated how the equipment will be used when the full agility course is set up outside next spring.

The EPPD would like to thank all of the Senior Center volunteers and the family of Dr. Wright for the generous donation of their time and money to make this project possible.

Welcome Officers Barrie and Williamson

Chief Jim DeMann, Officer Spencer Barrie, Officer Scott Williamson

This afternoon EPPD Chief Jim DeMann swore in the department’s two newest officers, Spencer Barrie and Scott Williamson. Both officers are quite familiar with our organization as they have served as Eden Prairie Community Service Officers since mid-2016. In addition, both officers grew up in Eden Prairie.

Officer Barrie earned an associate’s degree in law enforcement from Minneapolis Community and Technical College, and served as an operational supervisor for Valleyfair security before working for Eden Prairie.

Officer Williamson graduated from Eden Prairie High School and Minnesota State University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in law enforcement with a minor in alcohol and drug education. Prior to coming to Eden Prairie, Officer Williamson worked in loss prevention for Kohl’s in Eden Prairie Center.

Both officers will spend the next 3-4 months in the department’s Field Training Program before patrolling by themselves.

We are excited to have both of them serving as officers for the EPPD!

Noncommercial Signs: Where (not) to Put Them

Although odd-year elections tend to be quieter than those taking place in even years, there are still indications that campaigns are occurring throughout the City. School board elections, referendums and other elections tend to contribute to the increase in signage within the community.

The City is often asked where noncommercial signs can be placed. Simply put, noncommercial signs can be placed on virtually any private property where permission has been obtained.

To ensure safety and visibility for motorists, and to prevent roadway maintenance activities from being impeded, noncommercial signs are prohibited in the following locations:

  • Government property (City parks, trails and walkways, county roads, state highways)
  • Street rights of way, these areas are typically the first 12- to 15-feet back from the roadway for City streets, and quite a bit more for county roads and state highways.
  • On other signposts such as street or directional signs
  • Trees
  • Utility poles/boxes
  • Bridges and overpasses
  • School property

Banners are prohibited in Eden Prairie by City ordinance. Visit edenprairie.org/CityCode to learn more.

If you see a sign you believe may be in violation, please contact the city’s zoning administrator at 952-949-6200.

Tip A Cop Results

The totals are in from last Saturday’s Tip-a-Cop for Special Olympics event at Red Robin restaurant in Bloomington. Officers Carter Staaf and Jason Hunt worked at the restaurant along with law enforcement officers from other agencies and Special Olympics athletes.

During the seven-hour event, the officers and athletes raised $1,934 at the Bloomington location. Tip-a-Cop was also held at four other Red Robin restaurants in Minnesota. The total for the five locations in one day was $9,661 which goes to support Special Olympics programs in Minnesota.

Gift Bags from Grace

Gift bags donated by Grace Church

Recently a group of volunteers from Grace Church purchased and assembled 25 gift bags for the EPPD to give to victims of human trafficking in Eden Prairie. The bags include gift cards, bath and body items, gum, snacks and hand-knit hats.

EPPD staff will hand them out to prostituted victims to let them know that they are valued and that the community is committed to their safety.

One of the EPPD’s current initiatives 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 five prostituted victims recovered in Eden Prairie; to date in 2017 we’ve recovered 12 prostituted victims.

We use a combination of community education, officer training and human trafficking details to find and root out trafficking in our city. We are grateful for the help from community partners like Grace Church and other generous donors who are working with us to fight this battle.