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Government Alliance on Race and Equity: Project #1

Earlier this year, I wrote about the City of Roseville’s participation in the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE). The Police Department has been an active member of Roseville’s team and we directly helped facilitate city discussion on a current project.

The Roseville City Council asked Public Works Director Marc Culver for a report on the current snow plowing efforts and the ordinance, which addresses on-street parking during the winter months. The Council may have moved forward with changing the current ordinance this year or in the future but opted to first seek additional input from the community due to city staff involvement with the GARE program.

Earlier this year, the city elected to solicit input from Roseville residents about their opinion on the current ordinance and to offer feedback on potential changes. The city solicited input by posting the item on its website and communicating the call for feedback in the city’s newsletter, among other common communication channels. After some time, the city received 53 comments from citizens.

The Police Department looked at violations over the past four years. I found nine locations where 36% of all violations took place. All nine locations were city streets outside multi-family units. The GARE team decided to solicit input from locations that had the most frequent No Parking after Snowfall ordinance violations as its first project. Multi-family units tend to have a higher density of lower income individuals and families and there is a direct correlation between economic prosperity and race in this country. The Police Department consulted with the complex managers at each location about methods of contacting their residents and if they spoke any languages other than English. We found a popular communication method used was door hangers and that Spanish and Somali languages were commonly spoken in several of the complexes.

The GARE team produced 1,430 door hangers in English, Spanish and Somali. The Police Department used our Community Liaisons and Community Service officers to deliver them all in about a week’s time. The response to the city’s request for input noted above increased a dramatic 98% after the door hangers were in place. I’ll call that a successful first project for the GARE team.

This post was originally published as part of the November 9, 2018 edition of Chief Mathwig’s newsletter, One Chief’s Perspective.

Rick Mathwig
Chief of Police
Roseville Police Department, Minnesota