Activist community

Brooklyn Park Police step up community engagement efforts to fight crime

Brooklyn Park Police are working to redeploy more officers to engage with residents of an apartment complex as part of an effort to deter crime and improve security.

“Over the past few weeks there have been a lot of challenges that have happened out there, tragic things that have happened,” Brooklyn Park Police Inspector Elliot Faust said.

Earlier in the week, officers responded to shots fired inside an apartment building in the 5800 block of 73rd Avenue North in Huntington Place.

Just last week, a security guard at these apartments told police he shot a man who was trying to stab a woman.

In late July, a 12-year-old boy was the unwitting target of a shooting at a basketball court in a park that borders the complex, police said.

“We had to get back on track with our community engagement work which we excel at,” Faust said. “We’ve come up with a solid plan for how we’re going to re-engage with this community and get involved again.”

It’s part of the new police plan drawn up in recent weeks to proactively re-engage with residents to develop new relationships at the complex of about 2,500 people that spans more than 20 acres, which the inspector said was not happening as much due to COVID-19.

“It is imperative for us residents to come together and address these issues,” said Tekoa Cochran, who leads The BP Villagea group of residents that focuses on habitability issues, which also includes safety.

Cochran is helping coordinate an event in the coming days to bring police and residents together — to make their voices heard.

“I see changing the narrative, I absolutely do,” Cochran said.

According to Brooklyn Park Police data, 243 crimes have been investigated, with a total of 1,578 reported incidents for officers to respond to in the area in 2022.

Crime statistics near Huntington Place. (Brooklyn Park Police Department)

“Aeon’s work to improve safety and security at Huntington Place includes: adding enhanced security patrols starting last summer, adding perimeter fencing (this is under construction now) , adding traffic calming measures and a vehicle security checkpoint that is staffed 24/7, and adding more security cameras. services and support to residents, as well as working with community agencies and law enforcement We have seen positive results from this work… Home is a place where residents feel safe – it is our goal for all Huntington Place residents,” a complex spokesperson wrote in a statement.

Bishop Harding Smith is a community activist in Brooklyn Park. Its volunteers work in other parts of the city to try to deter crime.

“It’s so, so important,” Smith said of the new plan for the North 73rd Avenue area. “I think it’s great now that the chief is working on a plan that will be able to solve the problems.”