Since 1887, the Minneapolis Park Police Department has been the law enforcement authority of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB). Its primary responsibility is for crime prevention and policing in Minneapolis parks. Today, the department is comprised of the following positions:
More than 30 sworn and licensed Park Police Officers
More than 20 part-time Park Patrol Agents
Members of the Minneapolis Park Police Department serve under the direction of the Superintendent of Parks, who is appointed by Park Commissioners. Park Police Officers receive similar training, share support services, and work closely with the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD). Although governed by separate elected officials, Park Police and MPD officers work together to prevent crimes, solve problems, and address illegal behavior. MPD officers have authority to patrol in parks. Park Police officers have authority to police throughout the city.
Each year, members of the Park Police Department respond to more than 13,000 calls for service and write more than 2,000 incident reports. The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board takes pride in knowing that although 15 percent of the City of Minneapolis consists of parklands, only about two percent of crimes occur within parks. The annual budget of the Park Police Department is approximately $5 million.
Director of Park Safety and Security
The Director of Park Safety and Security (also referred to as the Park Police Chief) is the chief law enforcement officer and commander of the Park Police Department.
Park Police Lieutenants
Park Police Lieutenants are the next ranking supervisors. Currently, two lieutenants supervise patrol operations; one for each shift. Lieutenants are charged with setting patrol objectives, meeting with stakeholders, supervising patrol sergeants, and shaping patrol responses within the park system.
Five Patrol Sergeants report to the Patrol Lieutenants. They are responsible for supervising daily activities and field operations. The Patrol Sergeants work collaboratively with departments across the organization on issues, projects, and problems.
Two Investigative Sergeants are charged with following up and investigating certain crimes that occur in parklands. In general, Park Police Investigators will follow-up on property crimes, violent crimes involving juveniles, and cases not otherwise assigned by the Minneapolis Police Department. Investigators from the MPD typically investigate complex cases, like death investigations and sex crimes.
Park Police Officers
Park Police Officers are licensed as peace officers by the State of Minnesota. They are responsible for patrolling parklands, responding to calls for service, enforcing laws and ordinances, working with and supporting MPRB field staff, and all other duties inherent to their mission. Park Police Officers are divided between two shifts (day-watch hours are 8am to 4pm and mid-watch hours are 4pm to midnight). Park Police Officers have policing authority across the City of Minneapolis, as well as in MPRB parklands located outside the city limits.
Park Patrol Agents
Park Patrol Agents are non-sworn, part-time employees who work across Minneapolis parks. Their duties include general patrol of the park system, particularly within the regional system (lakes and parkways) during the summer months - as well as parking enforcement, bike patrol, foot beats, administrative tasks, and staffing the station desk. Park Patrol Agents are authorized to write citations when they observe certain violations. Park Patrol Agents typically work full-time hours in June, July, and August and limited part-time hours the remainder of the year.