MPD awards four SW block clubs

Southwest block clubs are doing their job well, according to police.

Four of eleven block clubs chosen to win the Minneapolis Police Department’s (MPD) 2008 Building Blocks Awards were in Southwest. The MPD chooses the winners each year.

Residents form block clubs to organize and protect their neighborhoods.

“The nominees are chosen by their ability to improve the community, build connections with people, and work with the police department,” said MPD spokesperson Mui Le. “We also want to know about their events and how they have prevented crime.”

The recipients of the awards, on top of being recognized at a ceremony with the MPD, get two Building Block signs posted on their streets, a $100 Visa gift card to use for their events, and a plaque.

From Kingfield, the West-of-King and 4200 Garfield Avenue block clubs were recognized. From Fulton, the 4900 Thomas & Upton Avenues block club was a winner and in Windom, police recognized the block of 5600 Blaisdell Avenue.

Some clubs go back decades. The Thomas & Upton block club has been around for more than 20 years and has never missed National Night Out meetings, which are held to raise crime prevention awareness.

Garfield block members have also been protecting their neighborhood for a long time, keeping in close touch with each other through weekly, monthly, and annual events such as potluck dinners and poker nights.

The West-of-King Block Clubs is a newer group involving nine blocks that developed in response to shootings, drug dealing, and a murder in the neighborhood during 2008.

The Blaisdell block club is led by resident Ann Palmer and stays well connected to keep on top of neighborhood happenings. The club has stayed close with crime prevention specialists to report problems in the neighborhood.