How do you install a car seat for an infant? What should you do when a police officer pulls you over? When do you need to renew your vehicle tabs? What do you do when you need help? Osseo Area Schools Adult Basic Education students learned the answers to these questions and many more thanks to a community partnership. The Joint Community Police Partnerships’ Community Academy is a program that brings together the police departments of the cities of Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center and Hennepin County and others to help create stronger communities.

By meeting police officers, students were empowered to ask questions and engaged with the people who are responsible for protecting them. Once a month for the last eight months, students attended meetings giving them access to information and support. Experts and nonprofit organizations presented on many different topics including personal safety, knowing your rights, healthy relationships, immigration, and traffic laws. Through this program, students learned how to become advocates in their community. The police officers who participated learned how to better support and build relationships with a racially and culturally diverse community.

On May 8, nearly 200 Adult Basic Education students were recognized for participating in the program. Brooklyn Park Police Chief Craig Enevoldsen and Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon addressed the graduates and handed out certificates.