Uniformed Public Relations

Police officers occupy a special place in the public eye and are the subject of continual observation, fascination, and criticism.  Uniformed officers are often the most visible representatives of local government, seen as protectors, public servants, problem solvers, and keepers of the peace.  Few professionals receive as much daily attention as the men and women who wear a blue uniform and a badge.  As a result, a city's police force can be a great source of community pride as well as an incubus for controversy.  These truths are compounded exponentially in a large metropolitan police department.  The relationship between a law enforcement agency and the people it serves is of paramount importance.

As both citizens and uniformed members of the police department, reserve police officers play a unique role in their agency's public relations efforts.  Minneapolis Police Reserve Officers are a valuable asset to the City as very visible representatives of the Minneapolis Police Department, especially at large community events.  Long-time residents and first-time visitors to Minneapolis are likely to find a reserve officer happy to meet them and offering to help in any way they can.

Maintaining positive public relations is as much a priority of the Reserve Unit as providing public safety.  This philosophy is inherent in the performance of all of our duties and is a fundamental component of our high standards for hiring and training.


In 2000 the Reserve Unit was awarded the Minneapolis Police Department's Unit Citation.  This award is given annually by the Chief of Police to a select few units that perform exceptionally in service to the Department and the City of Minneapolis.  The Minneapolis Police Reserve previously received the Unit Citation in 1992.  The members of the Reserve Unit are honored to receive this award and are grateful to Chief Olson and Chief Laux for their consideration.  The Unit Citation pin (pictured above) is worn by officers who served in the unit when the citation was awarded.

It may be something of an irony that a unit whose officers staff over 100 events per year, often with two or more events in a week during busy months, is identified with the word, "Reserve."  A common misconception is that the Police Reserve is like the military reserve, where reservists participate in training exercises while waiting to be called-up.  On the contrary, Minneapolis Police Reserve Officers are in uniform and out in the field, week-in and week-out, all year long.  Another misconception is that non-sworn officers don't get to do much.  Not a chance... many small police departments would have a hard time keeping up with the Minneapolis Police Reserve.  After all, with 50 officers, our own squad car, a Reserve Headquarters facility, and even our own Reserve Chief, we're in a class by ourselves in the public safety community.