The Golden Valley Police Department (GVPD) is dedicated to fostering strong community connections by actively engaging in local events. This includes hosting and attending several community events year-round, providing opportunities to meet people where they’re at, and acting as a partner in shaping a community built on trust, cooperation, and mutual respect.
This fall, the GVPD teamed up with the Golden Valley Crime Prevention Fund to host the second annual Trunk N Treat event, where families enjoyed a festive atmosphere and collected treats from public safety staff. In addition, officers participated in Lunds and Byerlys’ Boo Blast and Calvary Lutheran Church’s Trunk or Treat, ensuring everyone had a safe and fun experience while enjoying snacks and interacting with department staff.
Now, as the holiday season approaches, the focus is on supporting Toys For Tots and Shop With A Cop.
Toys For Tots
For years, the GVPD has spearheaded an annual Toys For Tots donation effort in collaboration with regional law enforcement agencies. Toys and gifts are collected at the GVPD and other metro area law enforcement agencies in November and December. On the last collection day, police from as many as 20 departments load their cruisers with donated gifts and meet at the GVPD. Then, lights blazing and sirens blaring, they drive to the KARE 11 Toys For Tots drop-off site in time for the 5 pm news program. The deadline for donating is 3 pm Friday, Dec 8, with the motorcade starting around 5 pm.
This also marks the second year the GVPD’s Toys For Tots event doubles as a networking event to forge connections between local law enforcement agencies. Police Chief Virgil Green spearheaded this innovation in 2022.
“Police officers are experiencing challenges unlike ever before, and they’re at a crossroads,” says Green. “The feeling that ‘it's just not worth it anymore’ is driving more officers to retire early or seek another line of work. I believe better community engagement can reignite our officers’ sense of purpose and motivation for the work they were called to do.”
Shop With A Cop
GVPD staff was also invited to participate in Rudy Luther Toyota’s annual chili cook-off and bake sale event Thursday, Nov 16. Officers enjoyed taste testing and voting for the best chili, with proceeds benefitting the GVPD’s Shop With A Cop initiative.
Shop With A Cop pairs school-age children with law enforcement officers for holiday gift shopping. Local schools refer participants who may not have been able to buy gifts because of family circumstances. After shopping, the children and officers join Police Department staff and volunteers to wrap presents and enjoy pizza and holiday treats. Partners include the Golden Valley Crime Prevention Fund and Rudy Luther Toyota.
“Improving police community engagement is an effective way to boost morale and retention,” adds Green. “At GVPD we have made it a key component of our mission.”
To learn more about GVPD community outreach events and programs, visit the Police page.