Roseville Police host a hot block party


courtesy of Roseville Fire Department

courtesy of Roseville Fire Department

courtesy of Roseville Fire Department

June 10’s heat and wind didn’t stop or even slow the fun at the block party organized by Roseville police at the Brittany Marion Apartments near the intersection of Rice Street and Larpenteur Avenue in Roseville.

The event was sparked by a conversation between Peg Kennedy and Roseville police Chief Rick Mathwig, when Kennedy suggested the Roseville Police Department work with Roseville Area Schools to bring some resources for the summer school participants who live at the Brittany Marion Apartments, mostly Karen and Nepali families.  

Thinking workbooks, backpacks, pencils and the usual resources, I met with the cultural liaisons from Roseville Schools who steered him in the direction of sporting equipment and other things for kids and their families to do together during the summer. 

Hsar Htoo, the Karen cultural liaison for Roseville schools, quickly suggested soccer balls, kickballs and basketballs for the kids since the school’s athletic equipment is locked up for the summer and unavailable for summer programming at the schools. Zin Zin, a former Roseville police intern and Karen cultural liaison for Roseville schools, suggested board games and card games to keep kids busy and to encourage family time.  

Roseville Community Service Officers Ku Tha Tee and Ruben Cortes helped with the event. It’s important for Roseville’s CSOs to gain experience with community outreach events like this — not just attending, but planning the event as well. CSO Ku Tha Tee is Karen and has a great rapport with the kids in the apartments. Often, the kids will listen to his directions more attentively than their own parents. The food was purchased at Schwe Karen in St. Paul and not a drop was wasted. The police department always brings to-go boxes to events like this so that the food stays with the families and doesn’t end up back at City Hall.  

Roughly 80 kids and 40 adults attended the event. Community Development Director Kari Egerstrom-Collins and a consultant for the Rice and Larpenteur revitalization project were also there to let families know about upcoming community input events in the area, most notably the recently purchased park land adjacent to the apartments.  Roseville Fire stopped by for a very welcomed “hosing down.”

 

—Corey Yunke, Roseville Police Department community relations coordinator

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