Twin Cities police working to build back trust 2 years after George Floyd’s murder

Police from three suburban police departments vowed not to shy away from the tough topics at a community forum Wednesday evening.

At the Crystal Community Center, police from Crystal, Robbinsdale and New Hope talked about the importance of building back trust following the murder of George Floyd.

"That murder set us back. It set law enforcement back very far," said Stephanie Revering, chief of the Crystal Police Department. "Now, we have to re-engage with our community making sure that we do build that trust and continue to build it."

Revering pointed to the changes her police force and other local departments have made over the last two years.

"One of the things that weren’t doing was collecting data on race regarding not just traffic contacts, but all contacts in our community," Revering said.

"I’m constantly coming up with ideas, events to get the community engaged," said Officer Nichole Saba from the Robbinsdale Police Department.

They also faced tough questions from the public about how officers are building back the trust they’ve lost.

"I haven’t heard anything about how you understand the people in your community," one resident said.

"I have lived trauma with policing. It’s generational. I do not trust police," another resident said.

At the forum, Revering said her department is committed to accountability and transparency with the media and the public, but social media can get in the way of that goal.

"So many rumors that are spread through various critical incidents, for example, where anything that happens in a community and we want to make sure we get out in front," she said.

Police from all three departments named staffing as one of their main challenges. They said fewer and fewer people want to enter the law enforcement field. They’ve worked to make their police forces more diverse but still don’t have enough female officers, or officers overall.

"All these agencies across the state are competing for the same small group of officers, so we’re really in a tough spot right now finding candidates," said Captain Dave Johnson from the New Hope Police Department.