ST. CLOUD -- You're invited to celebrate the grand opening of the Community Outpost Friday.

The first-of-its-kind in the state, the Community Outpost is a culmination of two years of work between the St. Cloud Police Department, the Greater St. Cloud Public Safety Foundation, numerous organizations, educational partners and local companies.

The event features a short program with U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer, St. Cloud Police Chief Blair Anderson, St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis and other community leaders. The program will be followed by a carnival with free food, games, face painting, inflatables and a dunk tank.

The COP House will be a central hub for law enforcement and public safety officials to work with the community. The project cost about $400,000 to build.

The Community Outpost is modeled after a similar program in Racine, Wisconsin where they saw a 70 percent reduction in violent crime in the area surrounding the house. They now have seven houses in their program.

The event runs from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in front of the building located at 600 13th Street South in St. Cloud.