Wellness and Social Media Initiatives capture 2017's Excellence in Innovation Awards

The MCPA Executive Board had a number of outstanding submissions for this year's Excellence in Innovation Awards. They helped address a wide range of concerns facing Minnesota public safety agencies, including helping drug addicts pay for treatment, an officer exchange program with Somalia, a systematic approach to contact people in crisis in the days following an initial incident, and a hands-on community engagement program to report and prevent crimes.

After a thorough examination of the programs, the Executive Board Awarded the Plymouth PD for its three-pronged (mind, body, spirit) approach to wellness in the large agency category and the Wyoming PD for its community engagement through social media strategy in the small agency (15 or fewer officers) category. Honorable mentions went to Albert Lea (large agency) for its partnerships with business owners to prevent retail thefts and Eveleth, helping older citizens with special needs live more independently (small agency) .

Large Agency Awardee

The Plymouth Police Department started its wellness program one step at a time. First it cleaned out an old storage room in the basement and turned it into a workout facility. Slowly it built from there. Today, the program has expanded to include a mental and spiritual health component. The department also hired a peace officer who is also a physician at Hennepin County Medical Center to help guide the program in conjunction with the department's two wellness officers.  The program is voluntary and has expanded among the rank and file through positive peer pressure.

Click here for the full outline of Plymouth Police Department's Officer Wellness Program

Small Agency Awardee

With fewer than 10 staffers, the Wyoming Police Department has leveraged the wits and online savvy of its team to create a social media platform that's gained a national reputation. Its social media posts regularly attain millions of views. The program is working to build community engagement and deliver the agency's more serious messages.

Click here to see more on the Wyoming PD's social media program

The MCPA’s Executive Committee reviewed all the nominations and judged the nominees’ initiatives on four criteria.

  • Level of Innovation of the program or initiative
  • Effectiveness of the program or initiative
  • Ability to Replicate the program or initiative
  • Overall Impact the program or initiative is having
Special thanks to the 2017 Innovation Awards Sponsors:
Large Agency Submissions:

Albert Lea Police Department

BCA Police Department

Bloomington Police Department

Lakeville Police Department

Metro Transit Police Department

Plymouth Police Department

Red Wing Police Department

Shakopee Police Department

Small Agency (15 or fewer officers)

Belle Plain Police Department

Eveleth Police Department

Wyoming Police Department

Click here for the 2016 program nominees