St. Paul Police Department building stronger bonds with community, free frozen treats helping

After a year in the garage because of the pandemic, St. Paul Police Department’s ‘St. Paul Bike Cops for Kids Truck‘ is back on the street – free freezies and all.

It also has free helmets for kids who need one, tools to maintain a bicycle that needs work and – once again for the kids – free frozen treats.

"It feels fantastic to be back out here," Cmdr. Jon Loretz said next to the bike truck as it made its first appearance at Dunning Sports Complex Wednesday afternoon.

"People have an opportunity to see their police, interact with their police in a non-confrontational setting, and so it’s just been a wonderful opportunity for us," Loretz added.

The truck’s rollout comes at a great time. After 27 years with SPPD, Cmdr. Loretz knows how dangerous it can get when warmer weather arrives. The truck will be popping up throughout the summer in neighborhoods that historically have higher crime rates.

"It’s sounds cliché, but it really does seem like people are jumping to guns a lot faster than they normally would," Cmdr. Loretz said about some of the current trends in violence.

"We want kids to be able to enjoy their childhood, we want families to come out to parks. When people don’t feel safe: that affects everybody. So, we recognize that, and that is something we really want to address. The best way to do that is with engaging the community."

On top of the bike truck, starting Thursday (6/3), the department’s ‘Safe Summer Nights‘ makes a return as well. It will have free food, police dogs, more freebies and another chance to connect with the police and build stronger bonds.