GSDC President Patti Gartland participated in the 2020 Metro Citizens Police Academy

GSDC President Patti Gartland participated in the 2019 Metro Citizens Police Academy.  “Having gone through this program in 2019, I found it extremely enlightening – a very eye opening experience. I highly recommend it”.

The Police Departments of St. Cloud, St. Joseph, Sartell, Sauk Rapids and Waite Park are accepting applications for the 2022 Metro Citizens Police Academy.

The Metro Citizens Police Academy is a one day a week, eight-week course offered to citizens and members of local civic and governmental organizations. Participants of the Citizen’s Police Academy are given the opportunity to experience first-hand many areas relevant to policing, including police training, police policy, prosecution of criminal cases, and critical issues relevant to the profession. The classes offered closely parallel some of the training curriculum that police officer candidate’s experience. It is imperative that participants understand that the Citizen’s Police Academy is solely informative and in no way trains or promotes citizens to act in a law enforcement capacity.

Local departments are seeking a diverse group of applicants who have specific interest in police procedures involving use and application of force, law enforcement training, arrest procedures, and general police practices.

The course provides an in depth look at these areas knowing that many of these topics have come under scrutiny and have been topics of social debate. The course is designed to openly discuss these issues while interactively examining the training, equipment, and circumstances that our local officers are experiencing.

Classes occur on Thursday evenings from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. beginning Thursday, September 8, 2022 and run thru Thursday, October 27, 2022. Classes will be held at various departments and locations throughout the academy.

Participants must be committed to attending the curriculum in its entirety. Those who complete the academy are presented a certification of completion from the Chief of Police at the last training session.

Applicants must be 21 years of age and must not have a criminal record. A criminal history check will be completed on each applicant prior to acceptance into the program.

City of St. Cloud and City of St. Joseph residents – click here for application and registration materials
City of Sartell residents – click here for application and registration materials
City of Sauk Rapids residents – click here for application and registration materials
City of Waite Park residents. – click here for application and registration materials



GREAT Theatre GREASE production

GREAT Theatre presents GREASE production

We’ve got chills and they’re multiplying, thanks to an outstanding collaboration between GREAT Theatre and the City of Waite Park.

On one late-July weekend, 8,501 people made their way to The Ledge Amphitheater to enjoy an outstanding community theater production of “Grease.”

GREAT Theatre and the City of Waite Park are more than dedicated GSDC investors. They’re hopelessly devoted to our region’s quality of life, and we thank them.

The City of Waite Park was also awarded a 2022 City of Excellence Award from the League of Minnesota Cities and received a 2021 Innovation Award from the GSDC for The Ledge Amphitheater.

Click here to see The Ledge Amphitheater 2021 Innovation Award video.



As of July, people experiencing a mental health, substance use or suicidal crisis may call or text 9-8-8 to reach trained crisis counselors 24 hours a day. It’s confidential and free.

This nationwide service is available in English and Spanish, along with interpretation services for over 150 other languages.

Click here to learn more.



On occasion, Developing News highlights various GSDC investor organizations. Today it’s Stearns Bank.

Based in Central Minnesota, where it was first chartered in 1912 as Stearns County State Bank, the company has expanded to multiple locations in Minnesota, Arizona and Florida, and has employees working remotely from 20+ states.

Click here to learn more.

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Contact Our Staff Team

Patti Gartland, President | 320.260.2442

Leslie Dingmann, Business Development Director | 320.493.9003

Gail Cruikshank, Talent Director | 320.260.6775

Tammy Campion, Communication & Programs Specialist | 320.252.5185