By Tim Krohn
---- — MANKATO — Efforts to concentrate on community policing have paid off with Mankato being named one of the best in the world for its program.
"We're very excited. My staff has worked very hard on this and all the city departments have," said Director of Public Safety Todd Miller.
The awards are given by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and Cisco. The Mankato Department of Public Safety was selected for its work with all city departments, community partnerships and for their outreach through the Tapestry Project — a program designed to benefit diverse community members.
Miller was hired as public safety director in large part to fully implement a community policing effort in Mankato. White Bear Lake, where Miller was serving as chief at the time, won the same award in 1999.
Miller said judges look at how well a city integrates community policing through all of its departments — something Mankato has focused on by getting all city employees involved in solving community challenges.
And he said judges were impressed by the Tapestry Project. "They looked at our outreach to our refugee and immigrant populations."
Mankato won in the 20,000-50,000 population category. Other winners were Abington Township, Pa., in the 50,001-100,000 population category; Boise, Idaho, in the 100,001-250,000 population category; and Hamilton, Ontario, in the over 250,000 category. No award was given in the under 20,000 population category.
Entries came from countries around the world.
Several officers will travel to Philadelphia to receive the award Oct. 20. A local presentation of the award will be done in Mankato at a later date.