Posted on Nov 12, 2019
Our Program on Tuesday, November 12th was Police Chief of SLMPSD Mike Meehan.  The Chief explained that the South Lake Minnetonka Public Safety Department (SLMPSD) serves Excelsior, Shorewood, Greenwood and Tonka Bay and has been in existence since 1973 providing good service to the area.  Mike’s last appeared at our Rotary Club a couple of years ago when body cams were just being added to the force.  Currently all vehicles and officers have body cams that are synced-in with the police vehicle’s video cam and audio system.  The SLMPSD appreciates the investments the community has made and all officers have them to engage when making an active call at their discretion.  Thus far all officer complaints have supported the officers’ conduct in making calls in active situations.
Chief Meehan focused on three topics:  Joint Powers Agreement, staffing and fundraising.  The Joint Powers Agreement expires on Dec. 31, 2023 and up for renewal at that time.  He hopes that it will continue and that will be up to the Coordinating Committee that is made-up of the four mayors and then approval of the new charter and funding by the four city councils of SLMPSD.
Staffing is a current need and concern for SLMPSD.  Research shows that police officers are highly respected but recruitment and holding officers continues to be a challenge for for the SLMPSD for several reasons.  One critical factor is the ratio of officers to population with SLMPSD being 1.5 and lowest in the lake area.   Another reason for officers leaving for larger departments is because they patrol alone without the support of a partner.  When there is a crisis the SLMPSD has to rely on mutual aid from other departments which takes time and can be risky.
Chief Meehan talked about the latest fundraiser to provide a digital information board trailer for various situations and events and thanked the community for their support in raising funds to provide that service.
Finally the Chief took questions.  Recent trends include car and home invasions and robberies, group robberies, and political attitude issues.  Other questions related to the assault of a truck driver, Teamster representation for officers and the desired staffing  and the Chief would like to improve the officer to population ratio by have a force of 17 officers if funding is available.