Gang Task Force
In 2008, Owatonna Patrol Officer Cooper, was implemented in the department's gang investigation unit. Officer Cooper works closely with the department's investigator that is currently assigned to the unit. The department's investigator is also the Owatonna High School Liaison Officer. The gang unit works with other agencies in the area and attends monthly meetings focusing on gang activity. The unit developed and implemented the gang field interview cards for the Owatonna patrol officers. The officers are given the field cards to carry with them while on patrol. The field cards have ten gang qualifiers along with physical descriptions of possible gang members. Officers fill out the gang cards and the gang officers place the information into the department's database. The gang officers use the department's database and a national database to track and store current information on gang member which assists in investigations. In 2008, the gang unit officers also put on presentations to area clubs and associations regarding local gang issues. The presentation included a power point along with numerous articles of gang related items that had been confiscated from students that attend the local high school. The officers also presented at the department's in-service training in September. With the implement of cameras and the Quick 50 Program (2007) the City of Owatonna has seen a reduction in vandalism and graffiti for 2008. Gang officers attempt to get graffiti cleaned up within twenty-fours after it has been reported. Officers, along with community volunteers will paint over fresh graffiti with the property owner's permission.