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Focusing our mission on you

Chart: Duluth Police Department

Critical to the success of any police organization is to have and hold the respect of the citizens we police. Police are engaged in a social contract with our communities. It is not the badge, patch and gun which gives us our authority; it is the community. The community dictates how they want to be policed and it is our job to meet community expectations.

This is why I believe a mission statement must always serve as an organizational North Star, guiding light or compass. The mission should be short and speak to top priorities and require every member to embrace and focus their work in support of it. It should be a tool to help measure organizational success and provide opportunity for employees to hold each other accountable for the adherence.

The new Mission Statement for the Duluth Police Department is to provide a safe Duluth for all by strengthening relationships and serving in a respectful, caring and selfless manner.

To provide a safe Duluth for all. We must focus on best practices in crime prevention, using real time crime analysis and intelligence to direct intentional patrols and investigation to interrupt, intercept and displace criminal activity. We must be victim-centered in all our approaches and focus on offender accountability. These tactics have led to a reduction in violent crime in Duluth, but we will not rest on past successes.

Strengthening relationships. We need to build a strong internal team so we can serve our community. I have directed and encouraged crossover between investigations and patrol divisions to improve communication and build relationships. Additionally, I have engaged our civilian staff to become one with sworn. One team, one focus on providing a safe Duluth for all. No person is more important of valued than another inside our organization. We all have roles to play and contribute equally to providing a safe Duluth for all.

Our success is based solely on community support. We have an engaged and passionate community who are our eyes and ears for us. You provide us feedback when times are good and you let us know when we can improve. We know we are welcome in your spaces and places. We will engage kids in youth centers, schools, libraries and sporting activities. We will participate community meetings associations and clubs. We want to be part of your celebrations, events and activities. We have an opportunity each day to make a new friend or ally. Getting to know us before you need us is our focus.

Serving in a respectful, caring and selfless manner. We have an obligation and duty to be at our best for you. Your worst day, hour and minute in life requires we demonstrate empathy, sympathy, care and concern. We must honor you and respect you even when the gesture is not returned to us. Our words and actions define our character as an individual, organization and profession. We know we are asked to do difficult work each day. This work is a calling, not a job. As such, we know our work requires we are selfless and make sacrifices. Time away from family and friends, long hours and home late. We intentionally place ourselves in harm's way to keep the people of our community safe. We work for something bigger than us: each of you.

Mike Tusken

Contact Duluth Police Chief Mike Tusken at 730-5020.