Coon Rapids Police Community Watch Team
Night to Unite

Night to Unite Registration!

Our annual Night to Unite event, will take place Tuesday, August 6, 2019. This celebration brings thousands of community members together thanks to over 100 registered parties in all neighborhoods of our city. Night to Unite (also known as National Night Out) is a coordinated community-building event with a goal of strengthening community bonds between public safety departments and the community. 

The countdown is on! Night to Unite party registration starts May 1st. Register your party by June 14, 2019 to be entered into a drawing to win cool prizes! There are many benefits to registering: visits from Police or Fire Departments, a swag bag and Night to Unite
t-shirts for all party hosts. Lots of new, and exciting things in store for NTU: you may opt-in to have your party on the community Night to Unite map, new photo contests, and a collection for ACBC food shelf just to name a few. 

Attention Businesses & Organizations!

Looking for a way to contribute to a family-friendly, community building event? Look no further! This year we are looking for sponsors for our Night to Unite event. By sponsoring Night to Unite you’ll be able to help us register more parties, continue our photo contest and reward our community for collecting food/personal care items for ACBC food shelf which serves residents of Anoka County. We also happily accept in-kind contributions for the event, which will be used as drawing prizes, or give-a-ways in the swag bags for our party hosts.

Some of the benefits of sponsorship include:
· Your business name and logo will be prominently displayed on all Night to Unite host t-shirts, and printed on the (reusable) swag bags.
· Your business name will be featured on promotional materials for Night to Unite including social media.
· First chance to sponsor in 2020.
Why partner with us?
· Help us strengthen our community and in-turn prevent crime.  
· Show your partnership and involvement with our community.

Ready to donate or want to learn more?
Call Trish Heitman, Community Outreach Specialist at 763-204-2003 or contact her by email. 

May events
DEA drug take back

Drug Take Back Day

Did you know that approximately 60,000 emergency department visits occur each year due to children under the age of 6 accidentally ingesting medication?

Too often, unused prescription drugs find their way into the wrong hands. According to the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6 million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs. The study shows that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day will be held:
Saturday, April 27, 2019
10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Coon Rapids Police Department
11155 Robinson Drive*
*you don't even have to get out of your car! We'll help you with curbside service!

National Take-Back Day is a safe, convenient, and responsible way to dispose of unused or expired prescription or OTC drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.

*Note, we can take expired epi-pens that have not been used, however we cannot take epi-pens that have been used or any other sharps. You can drop off sharps at the Anoka County Hazardous Waste Facility in Blaine.  

texting and driving is illegal

New Hands Free Law FAQ

The new hands-free law will be going into effect August 1st. (information provided by the Department of Public Safety

What can I do under the new law?

The new law allows a driver to use their cell phone to make calls, text, listen to music or podcasts and get directions, but only by voice commands or single-touch activation without holding the phone. Remember, hands-free is not necessarily distraction-free.

What can’t I do with my phone under the new law?

You may not hold your phone in your hand. Also, a driver may not use their phone at any time for video calling, video live-streaming, Snapchat, gaming, looking at video or photos stored on the phone, using non-navigation apps, reading texts and scrolling or typing on the phone.

Can I ever hold my phone?

Yes. Hand-held phone use is allowed to obtain emergency assistance, if there is an immediate threat to life and safety, or when in an authorized emergency vehicle while performing official duties.

Can I use a GPS navigation device?

Yes. GPS and other systems that can only be used for navigation are exempt from the Hands-Free law. In-car screens and systems are also exempt. In both cases, most of these systems lock when the vehicle is moving.

Is it against the new law to hold a phone in a hijab or other type of headscarf or wrap?

Having a cell phone tucked into a headscarf or head wrap is not against the hands-free cell phone law. The phone must be securely situated to remain hands-free and must not block the driver’s vision in any way. What would be against the new law is if the driver removed the phone and held it in their hand while they were a part of traffic. At no time may a driver hold the phone in their hand unless it’s to obtain emergency assistance, if there is an immediate threat to life and safety, or when in an authorized emergency vehicle while performing official duties. The new law does allow a driver to use their cell phone to make calls, text, listen to music or podcasts and get directions, but only by voice commands or single-touch activation without holding the phone. 

Are there penalties?

Yes. The first ticket is $50 plus court fees and the second and later tickets are $275 plus court fees.

Will this make the roads safer?

Yes, in two ways. In 12 of 15 states with hands-free laws, traffic fatalities have decreased by an average of 15 percent [Source: National Safety Council and Insurance Federation based on National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data]. This law will also help law enforcement keep Minnesotans safe. Because drivers aren’t allowed to have a phone in their hand, it’ll be easier for law enforcement to see violations and take more effective action. Through public awareness and education, the goal is for Minnesotans to comply with the new law without enforcement action.

Tips to Avoid Distracted Driving

Just because the new hands free law doesn't go into effect till August 1st doesn't mean you shouldn't avoid distracted driving today, here are some tips to help avoid distraction: 
  • Cell phones — turn off cell phones, or place them out of reach to avoid the urge to dial or answer. If a passenger is present, ask them to handle calls/texts.
  • Music and other controls — pre-program favorite radio stations for easy access and arrange music (mp3 player/CDs/tapes) in an easy-to-access spot. Adjust mirrors and heat/AC before traveling, or ask a passenger to assist.
  • Navigation — designate a passenger to serve as a co-pilot to help with directions. If driving alone, map out destinations in advance, and pull over to study a map.
  • Eating and drinking — try to avoid food/beverage, at least messy foods, and be sure food and drinks are secured.
  • Children — teach children the importance of good behavior in a vehicle; do not underestimate how distracting it can be to tend to children while driving.
  • Passengers — speak up to stop drivers from distracted driving behavior.
  • When making/receiving a call, ask if the person is driving. If so, ask them to call back at a safer time.

Coon Rapids PD On the Town

We had a great time helping Safe Kids Anoka County at the annual Bike Helmet Event in earlier this month. Pictured are Officer Melcher, and Detectives Frakie and Gustafson in action! 

officer with child fitting helmet
Officer helping child with bike helmet
officer with helmet

Introducing New Officers: Forsman & Barron

This past month we welcomed Officer Danielle Forsman, and Officer Doug Barron to the Coon Rapids Police Department. 

Officer Forsman most recently worked for the Minnetonka Police Department as a dispatcher, and through that experience realized she would rather be on the streets as an officer. Lucky for us, she has opted to make CRPD her home as a new officer. 

Officer Doug Barron is a lifelong Coon Rapids resident with a passion for this community. He is a seasoned officer, who most recently worked for Isanty County as a deputy. 

Look for these new faces around the community! 

female officer having badge pinned on by her child
Female and Male officers with Male chief of police
Male officer having badge pinned on by wife
Call 911 for police response
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