(Feb. 2018, St. Cloud, Minn.) “St. Cloud is big enough to make a difference but small enough to make it happen,” said James Albert II, pastor at Higher Ground Church in St. Cloud. “We have made something happen that only other places can dream of.”
Groups from all over the community joined forces with the police department on how they can better protect and serve the community.
“It’s more of a social contract opposed to a binding legal contract. The most important thing that happened over these meetings has been the relationship building,” said W.B. Anderson, Chief of Police for the St. Cloud Police Department. “Some of the things that in there are an explanation of our complaint process. What they can expect from an encounter with a police officer.”
There are a lot of hugs and laughs being shared today but it wasn’t always so jovial. It was a year filled with 20 long meetings for the group to come to a consensus on the department’s Community Policing Agreement. The former agreement was last put in place in 2005.
Eunice Adjei is an advocate and chairs the St. Cloud Human Rights Commission and she says that these meetings mirror the philosophy and approach of Anderson. “Just to call him up and say this is happening in our community and can you meet for a coffee? He will show up. For a leader to be that approachable and have the time to sit with you and hear your concerns, I think it’s phenomenal.”
One of the most important items in the agreement is that, they won’t wait another decade to review and revise it. Each year, this group will meet to make any changes.
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