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U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Community Oriented Policing Services
The Minneapolis Police Department Community Engagement Team (CET), in cooperation with the Little Free Library program and the Minneapolis Northside Achievement Zone, kicked off a program this fall that already promises to become a community engagement model for law enforcement agencies across the country. On October 17, CET Officers rolled up their sleeves to build Little Free Libraries that were placed in the communities they serve across Minneapolis. In subsequent weeks, the MPD’s Bike Cops for Kids will be placing books signed by NFL Minnesota Vikings players throughout the city.
In addition, some squad cars are now marked with “We Share Books” magnets and for children who ‘give a wave,’ the officer will stop to hand out free books and talk with the kids.
The Minneapolis Community Engagement Team (CET) is tasked with strengthening ties to various cultural communities in the city and CET Officers are assigned to work with the following communities: African American, Native American, Latino, LGBT, Asian, and East African, as well as assisting other officers in complex cases that may involve language or cultural barriers. Community members can contact CET officers to offer information about issues such as homeland security if they feel reluctant to speak to regular officers or investigators. The Bike Cops for Kids and the MPD’s Chaplain Coordination Officer are also integral members of the CET.
The Minneapolis Police Department has launched the book engagement project through the Little Free Library Law Enforcement Impact Program; Little Free Library is giving away 50 standard Little Free Library book exchanges and 50 mobile Little Free Libraries to departments across the country. The Cleveland Police, Detroit Police Department and Los Angeles PD (LAPD Headquarters) will be the next departments to participate in this community engagement and literacy-promoting campaign.
Little Free Library (LFL) is a nonprofit organization that inspires a love of reading, builds community, and sparks creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world. Since the first Little Free Library was built in 2009, the number of registered book exchanges has grown to more than 60,000, in all 50 states and 80 countries. Through these ‘Little Libraries,’ millions of books are shared annually and LFL maintains a map of their engagement across the world.
Office of Public Information
Minneapolis Police Department/p>
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