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Emergency Preparedness 

Preparing for emergencies has been a principal duty of the Minneapolis Police Reserve since its inception over 60 years ago.  From the end of World War II through the 1980s, the fear of nuclear war was never far from people's minds, and Civil Defense officers all over America prepared for the day the bomb might drop out of the sky.  The bomb never came and as the Cold War drew to a close, so did the era of Civil Defense.  The enemy overseas had essentially been defeated following the fall of the Iron Curtain, and the U.S. was the world's sole remaining superpower.  We slept well believing Fortress America was impenetrable.  The foundation of our country was shaken once again on September 11, 2001, with the shattering realization that our enemies exist not only across the oceans; they live among us.

The law enforcement and public safety communities have responded with unprecedented determination, steadfast in their efforts to prevent future incidents of domestic terrorism.  Behind the scenes, under radar, and beyond the glare of television cameras, law enforcement officers at every level of government are hard at work protecting our homeland.  Across the country, reserve police officers and other volunteer public safety personnel are on the frontlines and in the trenches of this new era of civil defense.

In Minneapolis, the Police Reserve now falls under the command of the MPD's Emergency Preparedness Coordinator.  Home to a number of potential hard and soft targets for terrorism, the Twin Cities - and downtown Minneapolis in particular - are at-risk along with other major U.S. cities.  Minneapolis Police Reserve Officers have received training in Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and are ready to respond should the unthinkable happen.

Emergency preparedness, however, goes beyond the anticipation of terrorist attacks.  Far more likely is the fallout from natural disasters and incidents of civil unrest.  The Twin Cities region is on the edge of Tornado Alley, in the valleys of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers, and under an unforgiving continental climate and the storms that come with it.  Minneapolis itself is home to one of the largest university campuses in the world, a plethora of regional and national events, and all of the complex social problems common in an American metropolis.  The potential for chaos looms quietly in the shadows of the Minneapolis skyline but the people of this great city can sleep well knowing that the officers of their Police Reserve Unit are always on-call.