Howard Lake Police Department
The Howard Lake Police Department continues to provide professional and courteous law enforcement to the citizens of Howard Lake. The department who provided many opportunities in 2016 to actively engage with the community.
The department maintained its active presence in the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted (HLWW) Schools through School Resource Officer (SRO) Darek Szczepanik. Darek provided a regular presence in both the high school and the middle school and also served as a DARE instructor. In addition to his duties as the SRO, Officer Szczepanik also participated in the Safe Schools Committee of Wright County. This partnership between the school district and the police department has helped to reduce overall incidents of criminal and truant behavior by area youth.
In addition to its role within the schools, the department also participated in Safe Communities of Wright County, which seeks to act as a bridge of knowledge and communication between schools, law enforcement, and other community entities within Wright County.
Throughout 2016, the department remained active in its support of all major community events including the Howard Lake Chamber of Commerce Community Expo, the Spring Carnival at the Middle School, Good Neighbor Days, the Wright County Fair, National Night Out, and other various community events throughout the year.
The department, along with the city, participated as a member of the Highway 12 Safety Coalition. This group of city and township representatives, law enforcement, department of transportation, and other safety officials met monthly in an effort to improve highway safety along the Highway 12 corridor from Wayzata to Cokato.
The department worked closely with and partnered with the Wright County Sheriff’s Office, MnDOT, and the Minnesota State Patrol to conduct several targeted enforcement events in the city including distracted driving, seatbelts, and pedestrian/crosswalk safety.
Additionally, the department once again participated in the Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) traffic safety program in 2016. Minnesota TZD is the state’s cornerstone traffic safety program, employing an interdisciplinary approach to reducing traffic crashes, injuries, and deaths on Minnesota roads.
As the department heads into 2017, we look forward to continuing to build upon the relationships within the community and with surrounding agencies that will help us to better serve the residents of Howard Lake.