Officers look to carry profitable COP Home design to Waite Park

ST. CLOUD – Do not forget concerning the west finish. That is one thing Waite Park Police Chief Dave Bentrud usually mutters throughout conversations with St. Cloud-area leaders.

Waite Park, a metropolis of about 8,400 residents, usually falls within the shadow of St. Cloud for funding and challenge requests regardless of being a part of the identical college district and being essentially the most racially various of the St. Cloud metro cities.

Simply inside the final month, legislators introduced St. Cloud will get almost half 1,000,000 {dollars} in federal funding for a second COP Home — which got here as a shock to organizers, who had as a substitute been serving to with preliminary plans for a COP Home in Waite Park.

St. Cloud’s COP Home — additionally referred to as the Neighborhood OutPost — is owned and maintained by the Higher St. Cloud Public Security Basis. For the previous six months or so, Bentrud has been working with the muse and Boys & Women Golf equipment of Central Minnesota to create a brand new area for kids and seniors.

They envision a Waite Park outpost as bringing collectively the police division, Boys & Women Golf equipment, well being care businesses and even companies for know-how and profession coaching. Seniors, who now solely have devoted area within the basement of Metropolis Corridor, would additionally get an improved gathering area.

“Working with the Waite Park Police Division could be so pure,” stated Mary Swingle, president and chief govt of Boys & Women Golf equipment of Central Minnesota. “It is all about crime prevention, optimistic and wholesome relationships, teachers and profession improvement. The celebs are aligning for an ideal alternative. We’re tremendous excited concerning the potential.”

The concept captured the eye of state Sen. Aric Putnam of District 14, which represents components of Benton, Sherburne and Stearns counties, who launched on March 29 a bill for a $463,000 grant to fund one 12 months of full-service Boys & Women Golf equipment programming in Waite Park and assist organizers design the proposed multiuse facility.

“I believe it is completely good,” Putnam stated. “There are large wants in Waite Park that get completely missed and that is one among them. A lot of Waite Park is retail. There are only a few areas for younger folks to congregate safely.”

The COP Home on the south aspect of St. Cloud is the primary within the state. It is modeled after a program in Racine, Wis., which opened its first COP Home in 1993 to discourage violent crime by putting officers and different providers in the midst of crime-riddled neighborhoods.

The general public security basis bought a home in south St. Cloud which had almost 100 police requires service within the 5 earlier years and opened the brand new home in 2017.

The outpost, which is close to the Southside Boys & Women Membership, is dwelling to handful of cops but additionally offers well being care, social providers, after-school homework packages, athletic golf equipment and ambulance providers.

A survey of neighborhood residents confirmed they’ve felt safer and more healthy for the reason that COP Home opened — outcomes that made the muse’s board excited to increase this system.

“We have had exterior businesses everywhere in the state and the Midwest name and choose our mind about how we have been doing issues,” stated Jim Steve, a retired commander with St. Cloud Police Division and chair of the muse.

Steve stated the information of the $475,000 in federal funding for a second COP Home on the town’s east aspect got here as a shock. He stated he anticipates that outpost to look much like the southside COP Home however stated he is nonetheless in preliminary conversations with Police Chief Blair Anderson and Mayor Dave Kleis concerning the federal funding.

In contrast to St. Cloud’s outpost, the Waite Park web site would not be chosen primarily based on crime charges. As a substitute, organizers are proposing constructing the outpost in an space of city simply north of Discovery Neighborhood Faculty, which is dwelling to house buildings and senior housing.

Seniors might use the area through the day for actions and meals and youngsters might use the area within the afternoon and night for after-school programming. There’d even be overlap, the place seniors might assist children with homework and children might educate seniors about know-how.

Whereas a committee has simply began brainstorming concepts for the outpost and garnering suggestions from residents, Bentrud stated he is heard loads of optimistic suggestions from residents and companies.

“We do not know if that is going to be a actuality or not however I am hopeful,” he stated. “It is a pure collaboration and that intergenerational side of prospects is basically thrilling.”

Ninjay H Briotyon

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