ST. CLOUD -- The annual meeting for the St. Cloud Community Policing Agreement is next week.

Assistant Police Chief Jeff Oxton the original agreement goes all the way back to 2005.

What brought this together initially was the state of Minnesota did a study on racially motivated traffic stops across the whole state.  They asked agencies to participate in it, we were one of the agencies that volunteered to participate, and that's what got us funding for the first dash cameras in squad cars.

Oxton was one of the original members who signed the initial agreement after they held a series of 11 meetings that year.

Some people have asked me especially since the flyer has come out is this a result of all the ongoings of the past couple of years?  The police reform and different things.  I'm proud to say we talk about those issues, but we've been talking about those issues since 2005.  This is nothing new, we go back to before this was in the news.

Oxton says they revisited it in 2017 with a series of 19 more meetings.

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Oxton says he recently attended a conference in Denver and talked to a member of the Department of Justice about the agreement.

His job is to go to communities that are struggling, and that have just had a major incident. He had just been in Brooklyn Center. He said one of the key things that places do that is a mistake is just holding meetings when there is a crisis.  Then there's no follow-up.  So when I told him about the concept we've had since 2005 with our policing agreement he said, 'there you go, that's the answer'.

This year's annual meeting will be next Thursday, May 12th from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at the St. Cloud Police Department. All community members are invited to attend.

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