Greg Daggett

June 2017 - Stroll along any residential street in Edina, and you will encounter a hodgepodge of yard signs. Conspicuous among the for-sale and political placards - par for the course most anywhere - you will see hundreds of green and white signs with a decidedly different purpose. They say "We Thank Our Edina Police Department."

Edina resident Greg Daggett is the mind behind this campaign, which is garnering attention across the state as an innovative (yet potentially replicable) way to show appreciation for and solidarity with local law enforcement.

Inspiration came to him late last August. "It was really ‘out of the blue,'" Daggett explained. Although he has a brother and several cousins in law enforcement, Greg had no prior affiliation with the Edina Police Department.
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"These are our neighbors. Law enforcement gets some bad press, but by and large, these are good, everyday people doing an important, difficult job," he continued.

"I did some quick online research, and had designed and ordered a first round of signs in almost no time." Daggett initially purchased 500 of the 18-inch plastic signs, thinking this an ambitious sales target.

After some thought, he set the price at $6 to cover production cost and allow for a modest profit for charity. "People told me this was low, but I wanted to be sure not to price anyone out of the market ... I want everyone who wishes to show their support to be able to do so."

Even so, Daggett was pleasantly surprised when the signs not only sold - but brought in donations over and above the asking price. That included nearly a dozen donations at or above $100, and several thousand dollars all told.

Inventory went fast. He began by selling in his own yard, but soon moved the weekend operation to the Fall into the Arts Festival at Centennial Lakes Park and to Jerry's Foods on Vernon Avenue. He sold over 200 signs at the festival weekend alone.

At the suggestion of the Edina Police Department, Daggett contributed proceeds to the Edina Crime Prevention Fund. This nonprofit organization - a community mainstay for nearly a half century - lends support to EPD's mobile surveillance, bicycle and foot patrol, and K-9 teams. It also makes possible a host of community outreach and engagement programs, including Citizens Academy, a Junior Police Program, and Night to Unite.

Encouraged by the positive response, Daggett has redoubled his efforts for 2017. In addition to a strong presence on social media, "We Thank Our Edina Police Department" now has its own website to spread awareness and facilitate sales.

Moreover, when sales reopen on Friday, June 16, not one but three products will be available. In addition to the 18-inch plastic signs (now sold for $10), more permanent 8.5-inch by 11-inch aluminum ones can be purchased for $20, and 3-inch by 3-inch window clings for $5. (Purchases can also be made at the Edina Police Department located at 4801 West 50th Street, and Jerry's Foods located at 5125 Vernon Avenue South. Furthermore, Daggett is partnering with Murphy Automotive to offer three additional pick-up sites: Grandview Tire and Auto - Vernon located at 5100 Vernon Avenue South; Grandview Tire and Auto - Cahill located at 5415 West 70th Street.; and Edina Tire and Auto located at 5354 France Avenue South.)

Donations for the Edina Crime Prevention Fund are also accepted through the new website. In Daggett's eyes, this added function is critical.

"There are only so many households in Edina, and I know at some point we will hit a saturation point with our products," he explained. "Ultimately, I want what we're doing here to morph into a more sustainable way to [show] appreciation for the Edina Police Department and support for the Crime Prevention Fund."