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New policing unit gets proactive

Jeff Tate
by Jeff Tate, Police Chief06/21/2018 9:00 am
Updated: 06/22/2018

The Shakopee Police Department is proud to launch our Proactive Policing Unit (PPU) this summer. This unit consists of two officers who work in plain clothes and an unmarked vehicle. Their goal is simple: to proactively address major issues facing the city from car prowlers to problem addresses. 

Unlike our patrol unit, the PPU is not responsible for taking calls for service. Instead, the intent is to allow them enough time to properly and proactively address larger problems in our community. 

In its first week, the PPU dealt with a well-known drug house where the renter needed to be evicted and the property cleaned up. While we’ve made arrests at the location in the past, the unit was able to devote enough time to work with the property owner and the court system to find a resolution to the matter. The renter is now gone, and the property is being cleaned up.

Many solutions to these nagging problems, such as car prowlers or mail thefts, require an extensive amount of time to build a case and make an arrest. This is difficult for a patrol officer who must answer other calls for service or try to conduct surveillance in a fully marked squad car. 

We’ve had a “Street Crimes” unit off and on in the past but, due to staffing levels, have never been able to keep it going for long. We’ve renamed the unit with the intention to make it a more permanent fixture. Whether it’s on a community survey or a recommendation of the Police Services Master Planning Task Force, proactive policing has always shown up as a community priority. While staffing levels haven’t allowed for this in the past, that should soon change as the department will add two additional officers Oct. 1. These additional resources will allow us to have the unit in place year-round. 

Thus far, the unit’s outcomes have been measurable and impressive. We hope the Proactive Policing Unit will continue to have an impact on repeat offenders, drugs and other crimes in Shakopee.

  1. Updated: 06/22/2018