At its July 12 meeting, the Osseo City Council hosted its first in-person meeting in more than a year. The council and other commissions have been conducting meetings remotely, which were broadcast online and on public access television.

The city first declared a local emergency in March 2020 due to the pandemic, which allowed for the city to conduct remote public meetings. As of June 29, all meetings of the City Council and other commissions have been conducted in-person at City Hall.

Here is some of the business the City Council took up at its July 12 meeting.

POLICE CHAPLAIN PROGRAM

The council heard from Osseo Police Chief Shane Mikkelson about the possibility of the police department using a police chaplain program.

“This is has been a program that I’ve been looking at for quite some time,” he said. “We would actually have chaplains as part of our police department.”

Mikkelson said the program would use area clergy to assist officers on calls where a chaplain might be needed. He added he wanted the department to be able to offer a religious aspect to calls if needed.

“When I started looking at chaplain program, I wanted to create one of my own,” he said. He added that a partner, a sergeant from the Brooklyn Park Police Department and former Osseo part-time police officer, found out about the chief’s plans for the program and asked if Osseo wanted to join the chaplain program that is shared between the Brooklyn Park and Champlin police departments.

“I’ve had communication with both Brooklyn Park and Champlin,” Mikkelson said. “We sat down together and decided that yes, this would be a good fit since a lot of our churches and clergy service people in all of those communities.”

The next step would be for the chief to hire area clergy to be part of the police department. There would be a background application process. The clergy would have an ID and jackets. There is enough in the police budget to cover those costs, Mikkelson said.

The participating clergy would be put on a list for calls out to an incident. The list would be shared between the three departments and participating clergy members would be put on a rotating schedule.

Mikkelson said also looked over the last year of calls and noted at least six times a chaplain could have been called out to assist officers.

He added that the chaplains would also be a benefit for any officers who may need to speak with them.

“I’m asking from you is just the OK and the go-ahead to start this program and make them a part of the department in a joint effort with the city of Champlin and the city of Brooklyn Park,” Mikkelson said.

Councilor Alicia Vickerman asked the chief if any participating chaplain would need additional training by the police department. Mikkelson said there would be no additional training.

“I believe this is something we need,” he added. “I think it’s something our community will benefit from. And it’s something we can now offer to our citizens at a pretty minimal cost.”

The council unanimously approved the Osseo Police Department Chaplain Program.

OTHER

In other action, the council:

APPROVED the purchase of two thermal cameras for police squads for $5,990. The cost will be covered by donations.

APPROVED the Lions Roar and 5K race special events permits and temporary on-sale license for Sept. 10 and 11, along with a waiver of fees for advertising and city services.

ACCEPTED the resignation of Brittany Quant from the Parks and Recreation Committee.

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