MPD Somali officers answered the call of duty

MINNEAPOLIS — Minneapolis Police Officer Mohammed Abdullahi didn’t always dream of a badge.

“I actually wanted to go to dental school, so I did a big 360 somehow,” Officer Abdullahi said while on patrol Monday night.

He spent some time growing up in Cedar Riverside after he emigrated from Somalia when he said he started to notice a problem.

“The community was being victimized by gang members from the Somali Community,” Abdullahi recalled.
So in 2006 he decided to protect and serve his own.

“People were not trusting the police, and I thought I could be a good ambassador to be a bridge between the police department and the community,” Abdullahi said.

Mohammed Abdullahi became the first Somali police officer in the state of Minnesota.
It made a difference and created a following.

“We see him as a role model for us, for all the Somali police officers,” Abdullahi’s patrol partner, Officer Ali Abdiwahab said.

The pair patrols for MPD in the first precinct, which includes the Cedar Riverside community.

In addition to the calls they answer, they make it a point to patrol that area on foot as much as they can.

On Monday night they visited a Somali Mall in Cedar Riverside and listened to concerns of elders about the recent shootings that took the lives of two Somali people.

It’s those visits that lead to clues the officers can hand over to investigators before they head back out to face the night’s calls.

It’s an old school police tactic, but it works. When a community is reflected by its own on both sides of the blue line.



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