Nisswa residents can expect a knock on their door from Nisswa police officers, but they have nothing to fear.

It’s all about the department’s mission of community policing.

“It’s my intention we’ll make personal contact with each and every resident,” Nisswa Police Chief Craig Taylor told the city council during its meeting Tuesday, Feb. 16.

Nisswa Police Chief Craig Taylor talks to the Nisswa City Council on Tuesday, Feb. 16. Screenshot / Nancy Vogt
Nisswa Police Chief Craig Taylor talks to the Nisswa City Council on Tuesday, Feb. 16. Screenshot / Nancy VogtScreenshot / Nancy Vogt

The goal is for officers to enhance communication with citizens by taking the opportunity to introduce themselves, share information, give citizens the opportunity to voice any concerns and give the department a better understanding of how to service the community.

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The department has a relatively new group of officers, so this will be a way for those officers to meet residents and vice versa.

Officers will tell residents how they can receive information on police and city updates, hear concerns and complaints and affirm the department’s commitment to fair and unbiased police work, Taylor said. He plans to contact businesses to reaffirm support for them, as well as work with civic groups and Nisswa Elementary School.

Taylor said 2020 was an interesting year with the COVID-19 pandemic and the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, which resulted in statewide policy changes for law enforcement.

On positive notes, Taylor said the department promoted Todd Szymanski to sergeant, received donations from the public, and continues to collaborate with the Nisswa Lions Club and Nisswa American Legion for donations for items.

Taylor thanked Nisswa residents for their support.

“They have been nothing short of amazing,” he said, noting the department has received cards, support and treats.

Taylor’s end of the year report included the following: 360 agency assists, 2,508 calls for service, 1,303 self-initiated activity, 1,146 assigned calls, 34 criminal citations, 242 traffic citations, 1,354 traffic warnings, 164 emergency medical services calls, 102 alarms and 93,932 patrol miles.

Also in 2020, police made 32 drug arrests, 16 DWI arrests, seven DWI and drug arrest combinations and 15 warrant arrests, and reported four do not contact orders, two parole/probation violations, four fleeing in a motor vehicle and 15 driving after cancellation inimical to public safety.

The council received a summary of several computer based investigations that police officer Jeremy Rooney has conducted over the last year.

Fire report

Fire Chief Shawn Bailey shared that the pandemic led the department to do birthday salutes last spring, in which fire trucks and other law enforcement vehicles paraded past homes with sirens blaring.

This was more popular than anticipated.

Firefighters also packed food for The Outreach Program of Brainerd Lakes with Mission Township firefighters several times.

“We thrive on community events,” Bailey said.

Firefighters had 26 calls in January, including 20 emergency medical services calls, three fire alarms and one each carbon monoxide call, structure fire and car crash.

Nancy Vogt may be reached at 218-855-5877 or nancy.vogt@pineandlakes.com. Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@PEJ_Nancy.