A First for the Minneapolis Police Reserves


Sam beaming with pride and enthusiasm


Ever since Sam was young he has been passionate about helping others in his community, information that was discerned during the early phases of his employment discovery journey. More recently, it has become clear that Sam has developed a strong interest in law enforcement and detective work. After expressing his interest to his Employment Consultant, Sam attended an informational interview at the Richfield police station with Officer Gifford. During this informational interview, Sam asked how he could be more involved in police work. Officer Gifford suggested the police reserves and gave us the contact information for the Chief of the Reserves, Ray Knutson.

Sam’s Employment Consultant called Chief Knutson and found out that he had actually worked at Community Involvement Programs several years ago. After a discussion about the reserves and what Sam’s passions were, the three of them agreed that this might just be a good fit for Sam. After he applied for the volunteer position, Sam was asked to attend an interview. The interview process itself was intense; Sam was interviewed by a panel of six officers including the Chief and several sworn officers in uniform. Sam was prepared with a long list of questions, a crisp suit and a new haircut. The interview lasted roughly an hour and a half, full of questions and sharing stories.


Sam’s training materials

After two weeks of anticipating the Minneapolis Police Reserve’s decision, Sam received a call stating that he was accepted into the acclaimed reserve program! The Reserve Unit itself has an organizational structure similar to that of the Minneapolis Police Department and has five main areas of service: Major Incident Response, such as the 35W bridge collapse or other natural or man-made disasters; Public Security, such as checking on building sites or attending public events; Traffic and Crowd Control; Uniformed Public Relations; and Crime Prevention and Education. In order to become a reserve officer, new recruits must pass a  lengthy background check and interview as well as attend their 12-week intensive training program.

Sam is currently in his fourth week of the training program with 24 other recruits. Sam will be working in uniform, which includes a police standard uniform: hat, badge, belt, and radio. Sam will be working at many different types of events in the Minneapolis area including University of MN hockey and football games, various parades, art fairs, farmers markets, Vikings games, marathons, and president/vice president visits. Sam will also be responsible for reacting to natural disasters and other major emergencies in the Minneapolis area.


Protecting and serving his community.

When asked what he was looking forward to as a police reserve officer, Sam responded, “Everything. Especially helping people but I hope there isn’t any crime.” Sam,  in fact, is already known to the Minneapolis Police Department. Last Friday, Sam was riding to get to his fingerprint and background check complete, when he was involved in a minor car accident (no one was injured!) When the officer arrived to complete the police report, Sam eagerly shared that he was in training at that time. The officer looked at him wide eyed and asked, “Are you Sam?!” Already known to many people in his community, Sam is excited to be able to continue his contribution to his community by protecting and serving with the Minneapolis Police Reserves.


If interested, please join us for Sam’s graduation on June 10th, 2015 at 7 p.m. located at 4119 DuPont Avenue North in Minneapolis. Sam would love to meet more of his supporters!




  1. A quick update. Sam passed his final exam for the Minneapolis Police Reserve Academy on Wednesday, May 27th. I am looking orward to his graduation on June 10th
    -Chief Ray Knutson

    1. Chief Knutson, thanks so much for the update! Sam and all of us here at Community Involvement Programs are so excited for him! 🙂

    2. Jenny · · Reply

      WAY TO GO SAM!!! Thank you to the Minneapolis Police Reserve Academy for giving Sam this opportunity. It really does open the doors to people with different intellectual abilities and shows that you are accepting and ready to embrace this often looked over segment of our society. BRAVO!!! You have made a huge step to make this world a better place so that when my son is Sam’s age, that he may have a good chance at crossing paths with organizations such as yours.

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