One of our most exciting endeavors is the construction of the Community OutPost House; a facility that will serve as a hub for neighborhood police officers, a community gathering space, and a center for various community-based programs and activities. Construction began in November and is nearing completion as we approach spring.
The Community OutPost model is based on a similar program in Racine, WI, which brings positive influences into troubled neighborhoods with the goal to assess the area residents’ needs and help provide a stabilizing force. The COP House gives the possibility of after school programs, human services and wellness programs, and Campus Police Services, (among others) in the area. The COP House will be a location for The Greater St. Cloud Public Safety Foundation to carry out our mission: to be the leading advocate of public safety in the Greater St. Cloud region.
Ernie Wollak from Wollak Construction has been overseeing the construction project and has been impressed by the level of community support for this project. “It’s amazing how the community has come together. Whenever you ask, they just come and give. It’s really amazing how this project has just taken off.” See more details on construction from Ernie on our Facebook Videos page.
Sgt. Luke Dingman of the St. Cloud Police will be one of five officers assigned to the facility. In an article featured on WJON’s Giving Tuesday series, he comments: “Their job is to assist with figuring out what the community needs, what the people living in and around that area need, and to work on programming for them to build a relationship between the police department, the city, and the community.”
The Foundation has received $50,000 from the Rotary Club of St. Cloud and $25,000 in matching funds. Plus, members of our community are happily volunteering hours and in-kind support for the construction of the house. You can donate here to be a part of the movement, or read the St.Cloud Times article for more information or to see a video of the demolition of the previous structure. Mayor Kleis of St. Cloud even named this project as one of the positive highlights of 2016 for the city’s well-being.
We are touched by the support from the Greater St. Cloud community–both from the heart and from the pocket–to make this facility a reality. We look forward to opening the COP House doors very soon!