Bemidji Chief Of Police Talks Strategic Plan To City Council
Bemidji Police Chief Mike Mastin gave an update on the police department’s strategic plan to the Bemidji City Council on August 26. The discussion centered on what the department has done over the years and their success.
Mastin says they’ve been focusing on building community trust and community engagement, highlighting on the increase number of community events. The department has been concentrating more on smaller more intimate type of events like coffee with a cop.
Mastin says it’s an opportunity for the community and kids to meet law enforcement and to remove that fear that some people associate with officials. He also spoke about training officers for large scale events, training them in scenario-based disasters, and the increase in mental health calls for service.
“We’re working on talking people down from an elevated space of crisis or an elevated event and that’s something we’ve really pushed,” Mastin said. “We’ve also really focused on implicit bias training and cultural awareness training for our officers to realize everybody has biases, and it’s important to recognize that so that we’re treating all people fairly and that we are not treating people disproportionately.”
The strategic plan was drafted in 2017.