By Morgan Reddekopp, Burnsville Patch – June 17, 2022
BURNSVILLE, MN — U.S. Representative Angie Craig announced that she is supporting Burnsville Police Department’s application for a $625,000 grant from the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) hiring program.
Craig said she wrote a letter to the COPS office in support of Burnsville PD getting the grant.
“The City of Burnsville is currently experiencing a massive shortage of employees and the Burnsville Police Department needs to fill over 11 positions,” Craig wrote. “In addition to this shortage, the call load and complexity of calls often requires more officer time and inhibits the time available and necessary for complex and time-consuming response to crisis calls for service, stabilization, onsite assessments, and long-term support for family members and those in crisis. It also prevents the time available for proactive policing initiatives.”
The grant gives law enforcement agencies funds to hire more officers, Craig said.
“Complexity of calls and call load can inhibit the time available for proactive policing initiatives,” Burnsville Police Chief Tanya Schwartz said. “Securing grant funding will support Community Engagement efforts and our Behavioral Health Unit response. It is more important than ever before to engage in community policing endeavors to continue to build relationships, trust and legitimacy with our community. Adding staff to our BHU Team will help to increase safe interactions between police and those suffering from mental health crisis, provide the right services at the right time, increase access to social services, community engagement and public trust. In addition we are working to decrease community impact of untreated mental health crisis, and decrease repeat calls involving people with mental health crisis or illness. Burnsville is grateful to Congresswoman Craig for her support of law enforcement.”
Craig also recently introduced the Invest to Protect Act, which provides grants to small and mid-sized police departments for training, equipment, personnel support, and mental health resources, she said.