The Brooklyn Center Police Department has a new community liaison, and she’s more than ready to strengthen the bonds between citizen and police.
Brooklyn Park native Miamon Queeglay was officially selected to serve as the new police department liaison and Brooklyn Center representative for the Joint Community Police Program, after previous liaison Monique Drier was promoted to oversee seven departments for the police program. A first-generation Liberian-American, Queeglay has considerable familiarity with the people of Brooklyn Center.
“I went to St. Kate’s and studied public health with a concentration in public policy and community health,” said Queeglay. “After I graduated, I lived in Brooklyn Center with my fiancé for about five years, so I’m pretty familiar with the community and area.”
Currently living in Maple Grove, Queeglay’s background included clinical research work at the University of Minnesota, as well as working in sexuality health and mental health at a nonprofit teen clinic for more than a year. She also taught sexual health to youth in a local juvenile detention center.
Queeglay said that when she saw the posting for the liaison job, she was attracted to the department’s work with Brooklyn Center’s multicultural community, which includes a large Liberian immigrant community.
“I’m Liberian, and I remember living some of those things, so it caught my eye,” said Queeglay. “And also, with everything going on right now, I think it’s really important for the community and the police officers to have a great relationship.”
Drier said that Queeglay’s background and previous experience was impressive.
“We were just impressed when we interviewed her,” said Drier. “We did four rounds of interviews … and we just felt that she was a really good fit for this organization.”
Aside from continuing Drier’s work bridging the gap between the community and the police, Queeglay said that she’s planning on offering a heavy focus on local youth as well.
“I think it’s just really important to build that bridge with youth and the officers,” said Queeglay. “For me, that’s a great point to start at, and that’s definitely something that’s been occurring.”
Queeglay’s arrival also comes during a considerable period of tension between Minnesota citizens and police departments. Ire towards Twin Cities law enforcement has increased in the wake of fatal police shootings of Jamar Clark in North Minneapolis, Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, and recently Justine Damond in South Minneapolis. Queeglay said she was hopeful that her new position would help mend the still-fresh wounds in light of those tragedies.
“I think that those events are unfortunate, but I think it also is going to make my job more important and more effective,” said Queeglay.
Nonetheless, Queeglay said that her new co-workers at the BCPD have been very welcoming.
“The officers that I’ve met are just amazing people inside and out,” she said. “I’ve never worked this closely with law enforcement, so I was very nervous coming in, and I will have to say that they all have this great equity lens, and they have been very welcoming. I am very fortunate to be a part of this team.”
Contact Christiaan Tarbox at [email protected]