This community organization has quietly been providing support to the Coon Rapids Police Department since 1990. In those years, the Coon Rapids Crime Prevention Association has raised money for the police department to purchase equipment and materials not covered by the city of Coon Rapids’ annual budget as well as to offer reward money to help in solving crimes in the city. The association was founded in 1990 by Detective Sergeant Bill Estenson and some members of the Coon Rapids Rotary Club. Some of the original board members were Tom Engfer, Don Hubmer, retired Police Chief Jerry Nelson, who was chief when the association was formed, and retired Det. Sgt. Bill Estenson. Two current members of the association board of directors were part of the original board in 1990 - Russ Weaver (association president) and Tom Klint.
Estenson approached members of the Coon Rapids Rotary Club about starting a crime prevention association in Coon Rapids by inviting an official from another Twin Cities crime prevention group to speak at a club meeting.The initial board members of the association were all members of the Rotary club; not all of the current board are Rotary club members now, however. The association has received money from community service organizations in Coon Rapids, notably the Rotary club, which makes an annual contribution.It was a $1,500 donation from the Rotary club that got the association up and running financially.But much of its money comes from an annual fund drive through the city of Coon Rapids quarterly water bills, which are sent out to businesses and residents.
In 1992, the association, in its first major equipment purchase, bought a $2,500 a video surveillance camera system for the police department.Other major purchases over the years by the association for the police department have been a computer for the community policing program, tactical and survival equipment, $5,000 for the department to buy a second police dog and $7,500 to supplement a federal grant for the purchase and installation of video cameras in all its squad cars.The association donated over $1,600 to the department to purchase mats for training and demonstrations as well as practice rifles and training Tasers for the department’s use of force instruction group.The mats make sure officers have safe mats while working on hands-on techniques and live simulated scenarios and the MP 5 practice rifles are used by officers to safely practice weapon retention techniques.In addition, the money has been used by the department to buy a Taser simulation suit, which instructors can wear and receive Taser probe hits during training.Four training Tasers have also been purchased through the association contribution.The association’s first major reward pay-out was $1,000 in 1991.It has continued to offer rewards when requested by the police department and paid the reward on the arrest and convictions of the suspect(s).In 1998, the association paid out two $1,000 rewards to individuals who gave information that led to the arrest of an arson suspect.And in 2002, when the association offered a reward for the arrest of two suspects involved in a fatal shooting in the parking lot of the former Coon Rapids Shopping Center, information was provided that led to their arrest and conviction.
By law, the police department cannot offer reward money in investigations.The Coon Rapids Crime Prevention Association is a non-profit organization.The association is an IRS 501c3 charity and donors will receive a receipt in the mail for contributions.Tax deductible contribution can be sent to Coon Rapids Crime Prevention Association, c/o Coon Rapids Police Department, 11155 Robinson Drive N.W., Coon Rapids, MN 55433 or can be transmitted electronically through this website securely.