Support boys in blue

Community members who want to support the Duluth Police Department now have a new way to support the department and its volunteers.
The Duluth Police Foundation officially will launch with a fundraiser today at Clyde Iron Works. The casual gathering will take place from 5-7 p.m. and will feature door prizes, meet-and-greets with current and past members of the force, the K-9 unit and displays on historical equipment and modern technology.

The new foundation will fund technology, training and programs for the department and its community volunteer groups, including the Police Reserves, Citizen Patrol and Police Explorers. Money could be used to pay for anything from uniforms for the reserves to flashlights for Citizen Patrol groups to security cameras for the department.

The foundation is run by a board of nine community members, who will make all funding decisions based on department priorities.

Tickets for the launch event are $5 for an individual or $20 for a family in advance by calling (218) 722-7178 or e-mailing duluthpolicefdn@gmail.com. Tickets at the door are $7 per person or $25 for a family.

Donations can also be made to the foundation by mailing a check to Duluth Police Foundation, P.O. Box 3305, Duluth, MN 55803.

Duluth street’s for dancin’

A street dance will impact traffic on Duluth’s First Street on Friday.

Spurs on First is holding a street dance from 8 p.m. to midnight. As a result, First Street will be closed to traffic from First Avenue West to Second Avenue West from 6:30 p.m. until midnight for setup and the dance, according to the Duluth Police Department. All westbound traffic on First Street will be diverted at First Avenue West. Drivers are urged to use caution when driving the area of the event.

Free firearm safety kits in Superior

The Superior Police Department will give away 100 free firearm safety kits to residents through a partnership with Project ChildSafe, a nationwide firearms safety education program.

Each kit contains a safety curriculum and a cable-style gun lock. The locks fit on most types of handguns, rifles and shotguns. The goal is to prevent a child or any other unauthorized person from accessing a firearm in your home.

The kits can be obtained from the front desk at the police department, 1316 N. 14th St., Suite 150, until the supply is gone. Only one kit will be distributed per person.

See Duluth police work firsthand

Duluth teens who are interested in law enforcement will be able to get a hands-on look at police work thanks to a Duluth Police Department program.

The Duluth Police Department Explorers Program will cover topics such as handcuffing, traffic stops, crime scene investigation and domestic crisis intervention.

Program advisers will host an introductory meeting to explain more about the program and field questions from kids and parents at 6 p.m. Sunday at the Public Safety Building, 2030 N. Arlington Ave.

The program is open to ages 15-20, but if you’re older than 18, you must have the intent to enroll in a law enforcement program.

Regular meetings will be held from 6-8:30 p.m. every other Sunday during the fall, and every Sunday during the spring. It all leads up to an April statewide conference in Rochester, Minn.

For questions about the program, contact Officer Amber Peterson at (218) 213-1303 or apeterson@duluthmn.gov, or Officer Chris Johnson at (218) 464-3708 or cjohnson0@duluthmn.gov.

Kids, meet the cops

Here’s a chance for kids to get an up close look at police officers and squad cars.

From noon to 3:30 p.m. today Duluth police officers will be at Portland Square, the corner of 10th Avenue East and Fourth Street, to meet children and their families. They promise plenty of fun, games and a barbecue.

It’s a neighborhood Cops, Kids and Cars event sponsored by the police department.

Eh? Camera lost, found, returned to owner

Stories like this warm our Eh?-loving hearts.

Terhi Minkkinen, of Copenhagen, Denmark, was visiting Duluth during a recent trip to the U.S. and Canada. At some point while in the city by the big lake, Minkkinen lost her camera.

The person who found it turned it in to the Duluth Police Department. Based on the photos taken in Duluth, police got Minkkinen’s phone number from the bike-rental business she had visited that day, called her and sent the camera to her father-in-law’s house in Ypsilanti, Mich.

Minkkinen says thank you to the Police Department and the person who found her camera.

Duluth’s cops are popular online

They hate to brag, but the Duluth Police Department did let slip that its Facebook page is one of the 10 most “liked” pages in the country among departments of its size.

As of Friday afternoon, it was No. 9, to be precise, behind police and sheriffs’ departments in a lot of southern cities and counties plus the Rapid City (S.D.) Police Department. The Duluth Police Department has 9,264 “likes,” which was 55 more than the Monroe County (Fla.) Sheriff’s Office. Unfortunately it’s also 111 fewer likes than the Taunton (Mass.) Police Department (9,375).

The department to beat in the category is the Livingston Parish (La.) Sheriff’s Office, which has 13,789 likes. The most-liked department in the country, all categories: New York with nearly 179,000 likes.

Firefighters try to create a rivalry

The fourth year of the alleged softball rivalry between Duluth police and firefighters continues tonight in the “Guns N Hoses” game at Wade Stadium.

Eh? is calling it an “alleged” rivalry because there is no evidence that it actually is one. Police have won the game all four years it has been played.

There also is a traveling trophy up for grabs that hasn’t traveled at all.
Police have never had to give up the trophy.

The event is sponsored by the Northern Lights Foundation, which addresses the needs and wishes of Northland children with life-threatening illness.

Police concede that the firefighters have raised more money than they have for the Northern Lights Foundation, but they are working on that.

“The bottom line is two great agencies coming together for a great cause,” Duluth police Officer Matt McShane said. “It is good, clean fun for the family to come out and enjoy all while raising money for the foundation.”

There will be police and fire vehicles on display, and the police SWAT team will put on a demonstration.

Doors open for the free event at 5:30 p.m. with free food being provided by Texas Roadhouse.

Fun for police and landlords

Nothing sounds better than a gathering of police and landlords, right? Maybe there will be ice cream.

The Duluth Police Department hosts a landlord social at 2 p.m. April 23 in the public safety building training room at 2030 N. Arlington Ave. Meet officers and learn about landlord alerts and the landlord’s role in crime prevention.

Please RSVP by April 16 to Maya Carroll at mcaroll@duluthmn.gov or (218) 730-5486.

TXT SPD

People now can send anonymous tips to the Superior Police Department using iPhone and Android apps.

Community members with Android phones can visit the Google Play Store from their phones and search for “SPDTip.” iPhone users are encouraged to visit the Apple App Store from their phones and search for “SPDTip.”

This program works along with the department’s existing text-messaging service known as “tip411,” which is provided by a St. Paul-based company named Citizen Observer. With “tip411” the community has been able to make anonymous tips to the police by texting the word “SPDTIP,” followed by the tip, to the number 847411 (TIP411).

The department’s land-line-based tip line, (715) 395-7468, is available, too. All tips are received anonymously, but the number isn’t monitored 24/7, so emergencies should be reported to 911.