by Tara Wiese
At a recent Coffee with a Cop event, St. Joseph Police Chief Joel Klein was asked his favorite part of the morning. He shared a heartwarming response: “Four children, Hannah Mondloch and her siblings, arrived and presented me with scrolls. On each scroll was hand-drawn artwork. That made my day.” One scroll in particular had a message that read “To St. Joseph Police, May God bless you and your families. Thank you for all you do!”
Klein made those comments during Coffee with a Cop, a morning event held July 24 at McDonald’s in St. Joseph. The event was sponsored by the St. Joseph Police Department and the Metro Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association. It was a time for St. Joseph residents to join Klein in a discussion of topics such as the upcoming National Night Out, the new traffic diversion in front of McDonald’s, traffic concerns on Highway 75 and the Metro Citizens Police Academy that will take place in September. Besides discussing serious concerns, there was also time for just getting to know Klein on a one-on-one basis.
St. Joseph will celebrate National Night Out with “Movie in the Park” at dusk Tuesday, Aug. 5 at Millstream Park. There will be a family-friendly movie called Free Birds showing, free to the public. Leonard Walz, a member of the St. Joseph Lions Club, expressed his concerns to Klein about parking for the event as he said he felt it wouldn’t be safe to park on Highway 75. Klein said there will be officers directing and assisting traffic and parking available throughout the park. Walz also spoke about the Lions’ possible participation in a brat sale at the event.
“The Lions would love to have a brat sale but since this is the first time for the movie event, we’re not sure how much food we would need to supply,” Walz said. “After the event occurs, we will have a better idea for the next time around. We are also continuing our search for new members to help at events like these.”
With all of the talk about a brat sale, the topic of cooking arose. Klein painted a sweet-smelling picture in the minds of those gathered for Coffee with a Cop.
“There’s nothing like a cool, fall day at home with the windows open and you walk by the window and smell what’s cooking,” he said. “At Coffee with a Cop or any day, I’m here to get to know you and be available to answer any questions. And there’s always the topic of cooking.”
Traffic concerns have become a big topic in St. Joseph recently.
“I’ve had residents talk to me about traffic speeding on Hwy. 75, the lack of using headlights during appropriate times and U-turns in the St. Joseph area.” Klein said. “We are currently working to control the traffic and U-turns in front of McDonald’s, as well, and are increasing the patrol.”
Fred Hinkle is president of the Metro Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association of St. Joseph, Sartell, St. Cloud, Sauk Rapids and Waite Park. He attended Coffee with a Cop to inform local people about the academy and also just to chat with residents. The next academy training will begin in September. It’s a free, eight-week course intended to help train citizens similar to how a peace officer is trained in Minnesota. Any St. Joseph resident who would like more information or to apply to the Metro Citizens Police Academy should contact Klein at 320-363-8250 or visit www.cityofstjoseph.com.
“This was the first year St. Joseph had the Coffee with a Cop event and not the last,” Hinkle said. “We’ve seen ages 2-70 at today’s event; this is the most well-attended event (of MCPAAS) so far.”
St. Joseph plans to hold one more Coffee-with-a-Cop event yet this year and hopes to continue this new tradition annually, Hinkle said.
photo by Tara Wiese
Residents discuss topics such as upcoming National Night Out, the new traffic diversion in front of McDonalds, traffic concerns on Hwy. 75 and cooking with St. Joseph Police Chief Klein at the Coffee with a Cop event July 24 at McDonald’s in St. Joseph. From left to right are Fred Hinkle, Metro Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association president; Leonard Walz, a St. Joseph Lions Club member; Klein; and John Miller, a new resident of St. Joseph.
photo by Tara Wiese
This information board holds brochures and applications for the Metro Citizens Police Academy, which will be held again in September.