Reserve Policing for the Future

Today, the traditions of the Civil Defense era remain a significant part of the Minneapolis Police Reserve, but as the idea of reserve policing has come of age and role of reserve officers has evolved, so have the duties and training of this unique police unit.  The dynamic nature of law enforcement and public safety in the twenty first century, compounded by the challenges and limitations of voluntary service, demands a progressive managerial approach.  The leaders of the Minneapolis Police Reserve remain committed to advancing the capabilities and professionalism of the organization through high professional standards, comprehensive training, and responsive leadership at all levels of command.

Nowhere has the need for responsiveness been more clearly illustrated than the dramatic and unforeseen need to substantially increase the security of our homeland.  The Minneapolis Police Reserve has responded in force.  Where at one time reserve officers would provide a casual patrol and uniformed presence at Metrodome events, such as professional football and baseball games, the unit now assists in maintaining secure perimeters around the arena, controlling vehicular movement, and reinforcing monitoring and surveillance efforts.  The Reserve Unit is continually called upon to assist with the many large and challenging events unique to the City of Minneapolis.  Officers in the unit staffed over 120 events in 2002.  Additionally, the Minneapolis Police Reserve has specific command directives related to the U.S. domestic terrorism threat level.  Reserve officers are on-call 24 hours a day to respond to emergency situations to augment full-time personnel and to relieve regular police officers so that they may resume their normal duties in the City's five precincts.
No less significant is the ongoing role of the Reserve Unit in the Department's Community Oriented Policing (COP) philosophy.  The value of "citizen police officers" as ambassadors of the Department can be seen time and again as residents and visitors encounter the friendly faces of Minneapolis' finest volunteers.

On the assertive side of reserve policing, officers have been utilized successfully in directed efforts in sectors where crime mapping has indicated a need for extra police presence.  Part I crimes such as auto-related thefts have effectively been reduced using auxiliary units in targeted areas.  Combined with a campaign by the Reserve Unit to register motorists in the Watch Your Car program, reserve officers have delivered a one-two punch to would-be perpetrators.

The Reserve Unit continues to work closely with its partners in the Police Department to explore ways in which reserve officers can further contribute to public safety in the City of Minneapolis.