WAITE PARK -- Community members and law enforcement broke bread at Quarryview Education Center Friday morning to help grow the trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.

The Department of Public Safety has been holding a series of listening sessions throughout the state.

Booker Hodges is the Assistant Commissioner for the Department of Public Safety. He says these sessions allows residents to provide recommendations about what they view are important core values in a law enforcement officer to help build back that trust.

Historically, in some communities there is a gap that exists and we are trying to fix that now. Sometimes the best time to have a conversation with the community is not when something happens, it's before.

Hodges says they've received a lot of feedback from residents, which they plan to use to help the department in recruitment and hiring of officers and making sure those values align.

Mark Moehle says he wasn't sure what to expect from the session but came away with a new perspective.

One thing I took away is the expectations we have of local law enforcement. I wonder shouldn't we live up to the same expectations. I think as citizens if we try to live up to the same expectations we have as local law enforcement it may make their jobs a little easier.

Moehle says he felt the law enforcement officers in attendance really listened to what residents had to say.

Other listening sessions will take place in St. Paul, Duluth, International Falls and Minneapolis later this month.

If you were unable to attend the meeting but still want to voice your opinion you can visit the Department of Public Safety website.

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