With full-page ad, Faribault police pull a community closer

There is drawing lines in the sand between police and the public (embodied in the next post down) and there is law enforcement pulling a community closer together.

An example of the latter comes from the police department in Faribault, Minn., and the sheriff’s office in Rice County, which paid for a full-page ad in the Faribault Daily News. It didn’t ask anyone to choose sides.


“Faribault, like many other departments in this country, realizes the importance of their outreach in the community,” The Kenyon Leader’s Gunnar Olson writes. “Like [Kenyon police chief Lee] Sjolander’s Facebook posts, the Faribault departments are finding their own way to remind everyone in their area that they are the good guys, seeking peace in their town.”

  • Angry Jonny

    Let’s hope Tony Cornish decides to shut up for a while.

  • lindblomeagles

    It’s never too late to say or do the right thing, and this is, as Bob mentioned, is an example of doing the right thing. My only disappointment is that neighboring departments didn’t think about doing this after Jamar Clark’s death. Bob and all of you probably remember the tension the community felt after his mysterious death. We blogged about it. Maybe, if we had taken the time to pull together then instead of trying to bury that incident in the closet as quickly and quietly as possible, maybe, just maybe, Philando Castile would still be with us today. You never want to over-react to everything, but we as adults sometime don’t react because we’re afraid to discuss a problem or aren’t quite confident in our ability to change when change is required. This ad is a great example of not over-reacting while recognizing change is required and being ready to discuss and make that change.

  • Veronica

    From things I’ve known before and articles this weekend, my guess is that a lot of what we’re seeing is that these “good” departments are rural– meaning you most likely end up living in or very near the town you police. So it’s not like what we have in Minneapolis and St. Paul (and the first-ring burbs) where the police live in posher neighborhoods miles away from the community they work with. If you are an officer in Kenyon, you probably live in Kenyon (or Wanamingo), If you’re an officer in Mankato, you probably don’t live 3 towns away…

    The issues we have are many, including housing and school segregation, affordable housing at the expense of “luxury” developments, lack of bias training, too many guns (and more every day–whee!), but….

    One good step is to have the police live in the towns they serve.

    • Al

      I wonder about this, too. I love hearing from the departments above, and from Lee Sjolander, but would like to see how they’d address some of the uniquely urban issues we deal with here.

      That is, truly, I’d love for them to share ideas. Maybe they’d be way off-base, maybe they’d be out-of-the-box enough to give a legitimate shot.

      Either way, each of these communities has some pretty good, compassionate leaders in their police departments, it seems.

  • Ken Lehman

    We’re Faribault, it just what we do.

  • Deborah

    I noticed that the union that represents the St. Anthony police officer — Law Enforcement Labor Services — gave a much more human and warm statement than we are used to from the Minneapolis Police Union. They demonstrated that they can stick to their job of representing their members without denying the event:

    “In a statement Thursday, a Minnesota police
    union that represents the officer involved in Philando Castile’s murder
    called his death “a terrible tragedy for all involved, especially for
    his family and loved ones.” Law Enforcement Labor Services says there is
    “still a great deal” unknown about what happened, and that the officers
    involved have the right to due process.”