Contact Duluth Police Chief Mike Tusken at 730-5020.
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- 4 years 11 months
Across our nation, recruiting quality candidates for law enforcement is getting more difficult. Law enforcement is a noble profession, offering diverse work experiences and a good living wage and benefits. Yet despite this, it is a challenge to recruit police candidates.
Each Thursday at 1 p.m., our command staff and investigative staff gather at a CompStat meeting to review crime trend and patterns, identify offenders and direct police action. In the first quarter of 2017 we are experiencing an increase in vehicle prowls and auto thefts. Vehicle prowls are up from 232 in the first quarter of 2016 to 356 in the first quarter of 2017, a 153 percent increase. Auto thefts have increased from 35 in the first quarter of 2016 to 60 in the first quarter of 2017, a 171 percent increase.
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.
As Chief of Police for the City of Duluth, I have many jobs, tasks and commitments which require my time and attention. However, community safety is and always should be paramount. As chief, I have three primary responsibilities:
Another fresh, New Year is upon us! 2017 has endless possibilities to be as great a year as ever for each of us. Some of us resolve to lose weight, others to quit a bad habit, while others resolve to invest themselves in self improvement by taking up a new hobby, returning to school or reaching for a dream unrealized. Whatever it is, it requires focus, determination and stick-to-it-ness to make it happen. If we approach our resolutions only half-heartedly, we we will resolve to do the thing we were going to do this year, again in 2018.
The Thanksgiving holiday has come and gone for a couple weeks now. During the holiday, like many of you, it is time to gather with family and friends and give pause to reflect upon the good fortunes bestowed upon us. Here is my list for which I am most thankful. • Another year of good health in my family. It is one of those most significant gifts many of us have in our lives that we can sometimes overlook or take for granted. I appreciate my family's support of me even though my work keeps me often working long hours and most days. I am truly blessed.
I might be a bit biased, but the Duluth Police Department is an excellent police department with super people. Every day I am filled with pride to see the selfless and dedicated service to our citizens. I have so many stories of our people going above and beyond to improve the lives of those in our community. We have people who truly live our mission to provide the highest level of service through partnerships and problem-solving in a professional, ethical and timely manner. This is how we earned a mid-80 percent approval rating from our community.
Back in February, shortly after Chief Ramsay's retirement from the Duluth Police Department, I wrote for the Budgeteer and reported all staff were engaged in a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) assessment. Nearly 200 employees were interviewed and shared their perspectives on what is working and what is not. We welcomed feedback on how to capitalize on our strengths while working to mitigate our liabilities.
Two weeks ago, my wife and I had a new first in our lives. We loaded up my son in a U-Haul, made the 150-mile trek southbound on I-35 and pulled up to a college dormitory where we unloaded an enormous volume of "necessities." Included was a futon, shelving unit (both required assembly ... ugh), TV, refrigerator, microwave and, of course, a new Apple laptop.
In my last column (July 24) I focused on shootings of African-Americans and police officers and the need to come together to build trust between the communities of color and police. People of color expressed fear of police while police were hunkering down in expectation of unprovoked attacks.