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WPD introduces monthly newsletter

WORTHINGTON -- The Worthington Police Department recently released Volume 1, Issue 1 of the Worthington Police News, a monthly newsletter designed to keep citizens informed of the goings-on in the department.

WORTHINGTON -- The Worthington Police Department recently released Volume 1, Issue 1 of the Worthington Police News, a monthly newsletter designed to keep citizens informed of the goings-on in the department.

With updates on judicial happenings, quick details on a new officer, and features such as Scam of the Month, Call of the Month and Dumb Criminal of the Month, the newsletter is full of interesting information.

When the city of Worthington developed a strategic plan several years ago, they identified several things that needed addressing in the public safety area -- an ARMER plan, dispatch consolidation, a fire station, CAD RMS and a public safety plan. According to Worthington Public Safety Director Mike Cumiskey, several of those items were already being explored or addressed.

The ARMER plan is in place, a fire station is under construction, CAD RMS is up and running, and dispatch consolidation was researched and disregarded for the time being.

"We started working on a public safety plan in March 2010," Cumiskey said. "It will be presented to the city council April 9."

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To develop the plan, Cumiskey and Capt. Chris Dybevick brought in the rest of the department.

"We could have worked on it just the two of us, but we wanted input from everyone," Cumiskey said. "One of the brightest things in the whole process is that they brought up things we should know that they thought we already knew."

"For instance, we didn't know they all wanted shovels in their cars," Dybevick said. "That was an easy thing to fix."

With input from the whole department, the WPD developed a mission statement, a vision statement, core values and a list of goal areas, and identified possible impediments to their success. A mission statement and goal areas were also developed for the Worthington Volunteer Fire Department.

Something that was identified in all areas as extremely important was communication -- between department members, departments, citizens and the city.

To help with communication, the idea of a newsletter was born. But they needed a "point person" -- someone to be in charge of putting the newsletter together, and to administrate some social networking. Officer Chris Hillesheim was asked to serve in that capacity, and he readily took on the task -- not for only the newsletter, but also a Facebook page, which is still being developed.

To keep costs down, the newsletter will primarily be sent out via email. About 25 copies will be printed and made available in public areas such as the Nobles County Library, the law enforcement center and Worthington City Hall, but for the most part, the department will use the Internet for delivery. The newsletter will be available on the city's website on the public safety page, but anyone who wants to be on the email list can send an email to bhussong@co.nobles.mn.us .

The department is also working with a program called Nixle, which disseminates information via text message.

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Using the newsletter, Facebook and Nixle, the department hopes to make strides in keeping in touch with the community and each other.

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