Robbinsdale police expect to begin using body cameras next year on all their calls, whether arrests, vehicle stops or any interaction “that becomes or is anticipated to be adversarial,” according to the department’s draft policy.

The policy, presented last week to the City Council, outlines not just when officers should use body cameras but also how to organize data they collect.

Under the draft policy, if an officer doesn’t record an encounter, he or she will have to explain why in the incident report.

Data collected from body cameras would be used for reports and future investigations, and as a “tool for self-critique and field evaluation,” according to the draft.

Miguel Otárola


Teen birthrate in county drops again

Hennepin County officials reported last week that teen births in the county dropped again in 2016, to 11.7 births per 1,000 females ages 15 to 19.

That’s a 12.4 percent decrease from 2015, and part of a 66 percent decline in teen birthrates over the past 10 years. The number of repeat births to teens, 13.4 percent of all teen births, is also at a 10-year low, according to the report.

Kathy Wick said that the county’s teen pregnancy prevention program, which she manages, helps youth make informed choices and gives them access to reproductive health care. County officials reported that a federal grant for the program has been cut and will end in June 2018.



Writers to lead conversation on race

A community conversation on race will be held Thursday, led by three writers who contributed to a recent book on racial issues in Minnesota.

They include poet Sun Yung Shin; David Lawrence Grant, who has written on racial bias in the criminal justice system; and Rodrigo Sanchez-Chavarria, a Peruvian-born writer and spoken word poet.

The book, “A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota” (Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2016), is a compilation of 16 stories that explore what it’s like to be a person of color in Minnesota.

The discussion was organized by the Hopkins Race and Equity Initiative, a collaboration of the city, police, Hopkins public schools and Gethsemane Lutheran Church. The group aims to increase awareness of issues surrounding race, equity and diversity in Hopkins.

The event will be from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Eisenhower Community Center, 1001 Hwy. 7.

Miguel Otárola


City seeks opinions on building heights

Edina city officials want to know what residents think about building heights.

An online poll, accessible through, asks questions about building heights in five sections of the city, including 50th Street and France Avenue, Southdale and Grandview.

Residents can submit their opinions until Oct. 31.

Edina city officials, who are updating the city’s comprehensive plan for 2018, are considering development proposals that don’t adhere to building height guidelines as listed in the current plan.

Two of those proposals — a five-story structure in the city’s Morningside neighborhood and two 20-plus-story condo towers near Southdale — have been extensively debated by residents.

The Metropolitan Council, which requires and reviews comprehensive plan updates, does not ask cities to submit height guidelines.

Miguel Otárola


City to host annual civic open house

Minnetonka will host its annual City and Fire Department Open House on Tuesday at the Minnetonka Civic Center Campus.

The open house is an opportunity for residents to tour the civic center and learn about several aspects of local government and services.

Different activities for kids and adults will be offered, including tours of the jail and fire trucks, live entertainment and a visit from McGruff the Crime Dog.

Information also will be available on city elections in November, and the city’s efforts to build a new fire station and remodel the police station.

The open house will run from 5 to 8 p.m. at the civic center, 14600 Minnetonka Blvd.

Miguel Otárola