The Hastings Police Department has named Officer Whitney Rinowski as the City’s first Community Engagement Officer, a new role that shifts her duties from 911 response to increasing partnerships …
The Hastings Police Department has named Officer Whitney Rinowski as the City’s first Community Engagement Officer, a new role that shifts her duties from 911 response to increasing partnerships between and among city departments, community organizations, neighborhood groups and citizens.
“The position is funded through a three-year federal grant that we applied for, and we are thrilled to have Officer Rinowski stepping into this new role,” said Police Chief Bryan Schafer. “Our hope is that the Community Engagement Officer position will enhance communication, inspire collaboration, reduce crime, and improve the quality of life for those who live and work here.”
Officer Rinowski has served the Hastings community since 2014, leading community engagement efforts like the Hastings Pink Patch Project. She will expand community outreach in key areas to create stronger partnerships and trust in the community. In her role, she will:
• Identify problems through community input, review of police reports, calls for service, housing information and other sources;
• Increase community contacts at residential, business and organizational locations;
• Work with various groups to educate on crime prevention topics, including residential/commercial security, auto theft and graffiti prevention, personal safety, and identity theft prevention;
• Develop a plan to organize block leaders in all 22 neighborhoods to increase crime prevention efforts; and
• Develop and distribute community crime alert and prevention information and announcements to the community through a variety of communications channels.
“As an officer that has worked for the City of Hastings for seven years, I am looking forward to increasing and building on the connections I have already made to create a stronger partnership between the Police Department and the community it serves,” Officer Rinowski said.
The Hastings Police Department and its officers are already known for being engaged in the community in various ways. “Through the Community Engagement Officer position, the community and the Police Department can build on those strong partnerships and collectively work towards creating a better Hastings,” Rinowski said.
Rinowski transitioned her primary 911-response duties to the community engagement officer role in January. She can be reached by email at [email protected]