WAITE PARK -- Over one hundred Waite Park residents gathered at Community Park this (Wednesday) afternoon for a lunch hosted by the Police department.

Officers from the Waite Park police department grilled up burgers and brats for the seniors in the community as part of the 4th Annual Seniors and Law Enforcement Cookout.

Waite Park Police Chief Dave Bentrud says it's a great way for residents to see police officers in a different light.

"I think it's a good thing to have the community see a different side to officers, and it gives us a chance to interact with the good folks and not just the bad guys," says Bentrud.

The meal was free to all senior citizens, prepared by the officers.

Waite Park resident Sallie Haberdink says it's nice to get to talk with those that serve the community.

"It's nice to visit with the officers, it's great for the community and makes people more aware of what's going on in Waite Park," says Haberdink.

The cookout is part of the police departments Seniors and Law Enforcement Together (SALT) program. Which is designed to help seniors recognized possible scams targeted towards them.

"Our SALT program is basically a crime prevention program, we try to bring in speakers to talk about issues that might be important to our seniors," says Bentrud.

The picnic continues to grow every year and gives the residents of Waite Park a sense of security.

"They are very good officers that protect us and I feel very safe in Waite Park," says Haberdink.

Bentrud says he see the program continuing for many years to come.


Waite Park residents enjoy lunch made by the Police Department. (Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON News)