Mayor Steffenson statement

On behalf of the Maple Grove City Council, I want to extend condolences to the family and friends of George Floyd. His senseless death while in custody of the Minneapolis Police Department is a violation of the role of law enforcement and the trust that has been built with the community. The resounding impact of civil unrest has been felt deeply in the neighborhoods of Minneapolis, the metro area, and throughout the country.  

We have heard from you – questions about the work and training of the Maple Grove Police Department, safety in your neighborhoods, and concerns for issues of race. In writing this, I hope to answer questions and address concerns for the community.

The City of Maple Grove remains committed to the values of the public safety work we do in Maple Grove. The Maple Grove Police Department is dedicated to providing the highest levels of service in a compassionate and professional manner that respects and guards the dignity of all people.  To accomplish this mission, our officers are highly engaged with community outreach work to build trust and relationships.

The Maple Grove Police Department trains to the highest levels possible. Key aspects of routine training for each officer includes implicit bias, de-escalation, crisis intervention, and mental health response. Additionally, our agency is proud of the work accomplished in the areas of conflict management and mediation as well as recognizing and valuing community diversity and cultural differences. These are pillars of their culture.

We take seriously the safety and well-being of our residents and businesses, which was reflected in the curfews enacted over this past weekend in response to damage and theft in our retail areas. We appreciate the support of residents and businesses in responding to the curfews to allow public safety to more effectively do its work. Our police leadership and officers value the relationship with the citizens and community.

During the times of civil unrest, there was excellent communication and cooperation between our Police Department and various law enforcement agencies. This mutual aid effort provided intelligence allowing us to prepare for an increased police presence to protect the public and property. While there was unrest in our community and sadly criminal activity, those who did harm to our community will be held accountable.

Peaceful gatherings have been organized in our community, and many of our citizens went into Minneapolis to be part of the clean-up of impacted areas, to donate needed food and clothing items, and to pay their respects to Mr. Floyd. Those are the beacons of light that we all need to continue to shine collectively. Racism and discrimination have no place in our community, state, or country. We are challenged to cooperatively address and work to resolve these issues as one country, one state, and one community. It is time to put aside differences and discrimination.

Please know the City Council and I will continue to work to foster a welcoming community that values diversity and inclusion for all.

Mark Steffenson
City of Maple Grove