ST. CLOUD -- The city of St. Cloud and the police department were given a special award Thursday morning.

St. Cloud was awarded the 2018 United States Department of Justice L. Anthony Sutin Civic Imagination Award for their collaborative work through the St. Cloud Police Department Community Outpost, or COP House.

Officer Dan McClure was an instrumental part in getting the Community Outpost started. He says the house has truly been a transformative piece in the community.

We knew this was going to work and we knew with the right people and partnerships this would be attainable. You set goals, achieve them, then you set new goals. It's been a collaborative effort all around.

The award is given to law enforcement who are actively engaged in their community and find unique ways to reduce crime and provide positive change.

McClure says the award is a true testament to community engagement in the St. Cloud area.

To be in the same breathe as an L. Anthony Sutin is a tremendous honor. The ideas our community members share with us and the partners that have come through, there is no words to describe how honored we are to accept this award.

He says they hope continue to expand the program to reach other neighborhoods.

The Community Outpost opened in August 2017 and is the first-of-its-kind in the state, and was inspired by a similar program in Racine, Wisconsin.

St. Cloud is one of two cities across the country to win this years award. The other award was given to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and Promise Youth Development.

Have WJON News Sent to Your Inbox

Subscribe to the WJON Newsletter and have top local news headlines sent to your inbox every day.