St. Cloud Police Chief Blair Anderson joined me on WJON for a 2-part conversation.  We talked about the community outreach his department has done in this community and why that has gone a long way toward establishing a good relationship with all ages in the community.  Anderson says it starting for he and his department by reaching out to the youth of St. Cloud.  Anderson was asked if powerful police unions make it difficult to get rid of bad cops and he said, "absolutely yes" and this is something he's been working hard to correct with law enforcement throughout the state.  Listen to the conversation below.

 

 

Chief Anderson talked about hiring practices and he says it starts with a screening process and he feels they have a thorough screening process that also addresses issues regarding racism.  Anderson says police training begins with deescalating situations when possible but he admitted that force is sometimes needed and officers need to be ready and equipped to handle that.  He says what happened to George Floyd in Minneapolis should not have happened and that the other 3 officers standing by and watching Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck should have acted.

Chief Anderson says he's been overwhelmed by the support for the St. Cloud Police Department by residents and brought up a story of a pair of citizens planting flowers at the police station as a show of appreciation for all that they do.

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