In October, 1972 the Eden Prairie City Council passed a resolution to create the Eden Prairie Public Safety Department. Jack Hacking, a supervisor with the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, was hired as the first Public Safety Director.
Later that month, Chief Hacking and Mayor Redpath brought 20 different police patch designs to a fish fry at the American Legion hall and asked bar patrons to vote on their favorite patch.
The EPPD officially began on January 1, 1973, when former Mayor Paul Redpath christened the first Eden Prairie squad car in front of his home. Mayor Redpath poured champagne over the squad’s front bumper and Officer Bruce Wojack called into service. That event marked the beginning of the Eden Prairie Police Department. Prior to 1973 the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office provided police services to Eden Prairie.
The department started with six officers: Bill Blake, Les Bridger, Jack Hacking, Curt Oberlander, Keith Wall and Bruce Wojack. In the beginning, the police department had an annual budget of only $124,000 and each of the six officers worked an average of 40 hours unpaid overtime every month to keep the city safe. The department offices consisted of two small rooms above the Central Fire Station and no holding facilities.
Today the police department employs 66 sworn officers and 30 civilian staff in addition to several part-time seasonal park rangers and 30 volunteer police reserves and chaplains who perform community service tasks. The police department's current annual budget is $12 million. The police department resides at the City Center office complex, 8080 Mitchell Road and features a 9-1-1 dispatch center, four holding cells, an evidence storage area, training/classroom area, workout room, records storage room and office space.
For more detailed historical information please click on one of the decades listed to the left which are broken down into: crimes, equipment and facilities, events, people and staffing and programs.
If you have historical information about the Eden Prairie Police Department you would like to share, please contact the Police Department.