Safety Camp 2018

Police Chief DeMann, Sparky, Smokey, McGruff and Fire Chief Esbensen at the Opening Ceremonies

Yesterday and today, 181 campers 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 campers rotate through various activities, including personal safety, bullying prevention, power line safety, internet safety, animal safety, bike safety, fire safety, street maintenance vehicle safety and aquatics safety.

The Gold team learns about internet safety with CLIMB Theatre

Tonight the campers and their parents will attend a graduation ceremony where they will watch a video of their camp adventures and take photos with their favorites counselors.

Officer Jenny Ficcadenti and K-9 partner Jace talk to the Green team about animal safety

Thanks to everyone who helped make the 28th annual Safety Camp a huge success!

The Orange and Blue teams practice bike safety

 

2018 Special Olympics Torch Run

Last Friday, City of Eden Prairie employees ran three miles through Eden Prairie carrying the Minnesota Special Olympics torch. Our staff received the torch from the Minnetonka Police Department and several miles later, handed it over to the Richfield Police Department where they also met up with two Special Olympics athletes. Throughout the day the torch made its way to the University of St. Thomas where the 2018 Special Olympics Summer Games were held last weekend.

The Torch Run serves as a fundraiser for the Special Olympics. The money raised goes towards the cost of sending athletes to the Special Olympics games. Police Departments have a unique relationship with the Special Olympics. They are considered to be the guardians of the torch, which is also called the “Flame of Hope.” The EPPD is proud to be a part of this annual tradition and support the Special Olympic athletes.

Do You Know How to Do the Zipper Merge?

Road construction season is upon us and with projects in Eden Prairie and throughout the metro area, it’s a good time to remind all drivers about how to do the zipper merge.

What is the “zipper merge?” It’s a type of merge that occurs when a roadway lane is closed for construction and motorists use BOTH lanes of traffic until reaching the defined merge area, and then alternate in “zipper” fashion into the open lane.

The traditional way of merging, also called the “early merge,” occurs when drivers see the first “lane closed ahead” sign in a work zone, slow down too quickly and move to the lane that will continue through the construction area. This driving behavior can lead to unexpected and dangerous lane switching, serious crashes and road rage.

According to the Minnesota Department of Transportation, the zipper merge method is safer than the early merge method, reduces the overall length of traffic backup by as much as 40 percent and reduces congestion on freeway interchanges.

Minnesota residents can be hesitant to use the zipper method as they may feel like they are cheating and that other drivers could get angry with them. But it is not rude to use the zipper merge and, in fact, can save time for everyone waiting in line.

Eden Prairie has several road construction projects scheduled for 2018. The EPPD and the Public Works Department urge residents to use the zipper merge to make this year’s road construction season as safe as possible.

Watch this video about how the zipper merge works.

What is Curfew in Eden Prairie?

Now that school is out, we are receiving questions about Eden Prairie’s curfew. The curfew here is established by Hennepin County and is the same for all cities within the county:

Age Sunday–Thursday Friday and Saturday
Under 12 Home by 9 p.m. Home by 10 p.m.
12 to 14 Home by 10 p.m. Home by 11 p.m.
15 to 17 Home by 11 p.m. Home by midnight

The law applies if the child is in any public place after these hours, including walking, biking or driving a vehicle. There are exceptions including employment, school, religious observances, sponsored recreational activities and emergencies.

Snake Wrangler

Last Sunday EPPD Community Service Officer Grace Frischmon was dispatched to a home in Eden Prairie to help the homeowners with a large unwanted snake in their yard. While there, the approximately 4-foot-long snake slithered into a hole in the ground. CSO Frischmon asked the residents to call back if they noticed the snake again.

About an hour later CSO Frischmon was dispatched to the same home after the snake emerged from the hole. She and the homeowners managed to corner the snake, allowing CSO Frischmon to pick it up and put it in a crate before releasing it into a nearby wild area.

CSO Frischmon believes the snake was a bullsnake which is common in Minnesota. Bullsnakes are not dangerous and in fact, some people like having them around to aid with pest control as bullsnakes eat mice and other rodents.

If you are interested in keeping bullsnakes and other snakes OUT of your yard, the Minnesota DNR has some tips.