June 15, 2018 03:29 AM
The livestream of the St. Anthony police officer-involved shooting of Philando Castile was a video viewed around the world.
The event put a laser-focused eye on the small town that never saw it coming. The city of St. Anthony has been working to rebuild community trust ever since.
That single traffic stop prompted two years of research, community meetings, trainings and even enlisting the federal government to help a police force that was being accused of bias and bigotry.
On Thursday night, Chief Jon Mangseth unveiled the department’s plan for a new beginning.
“It took all of us and more to go through those difficult times and arrive where we’re at right now,” he said.
Transparency is one of the many focuses in the department’s new strategic plan, as well as communication, community outreach and making purposeful, data-driven decisions.
“We have to continually be scanning our environment to figure out the best ways to communicate with our community and our residents,” said Mangseth.
“The problem the Village has -- and the reason it’s lightly attended tonight -- is communications. Not getting the word out,” said former council member and longtime resident Bill Sauer at Thursday night’s presentation on the new plan.
In the time it took to build the plan, the public interest in the police department’s efforts has dwindled.
There were many empty seats at the rollout of the work that the community pushed so hard to see.
“Where is everybody?” asked Sauer.
“I’m kind of surprised. I thought it would be a room full of people as well,” resident Bernard Walker said.
This closer look may have been inspired by the public eye, Mangseth says his force is committed to this change whether people are watching or not.
“I look at this evening as a positive because these folks are going to carry what they learned here and the messaging out into the community,” he said. “We need to get together, too, as a law enforcement community and take a look. ‘Okay, this was year one. What did we see? What did we like? What didn't we like? What are we hearing from the community?’”
As part of this strategic plan, a chaplain has recently been added to the force. Police are also working on putting together a citizens academy and body cameras will be rolled out mid-summer.
Updated: June 15, 2018 03:29 AM
Created: June 14, 2018 10:12 PM
Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company