Police and the Homeless Advocacy
Mar 21, 2019
Sgt. Grant Snyder
Police and the Homeless Advocacy

In April 2018, Sgt. Grant Snyder, the Minneapolis Police Department’s nationally recognized human trafficking expert, took on the role as the department’s liaison to the city’s homeless. His approach to working with the city’s dispossessed will be to use more collaborative ways to address the complex, intertwined causes of homelessness.

Sgt. Snyder was featured in an April 2018 StarTribune article in which he told reporter, Libor Jany, he sees the role as a natural extension of his most recent assignment: heading up the department’s efforts against human trafficking. He expects to return to some of the same side streets and back alleys he frequented in his old job, noting the well-documented link between homelessness and the sex trade.

Running the department’s anti-trafficking efforts leading up to Super Bowl LII and speaking regularly at law enforcement conferences about the need for a holistic approach to the problem, he is viewed as an expert in the field. He served on the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension’s human trafficking task force, after stints in the department’s juvenile trafficking and child abuse units. The deeply spiritual father of five said he recognizes that some traffickers are themselves victims of abuse leading him to occasionally mentor some of the very men he arrested.

Sgt. Grant Snyder is now turning his sights to what authorities say has been an equally vexing and growing problem in Minneapolis. More and more, police have been asked to deal with pressing social problems like homelessness that don’t necessarily warrant a law enforcement response, according to the veteran detective. He works closely with established social agencies like St. Stephen’s Human Services in Minneapolis, whose outreach team has for years been fanning out across the city to connect the chronically homeless with services such as counseling for mental health and substance abuse. Most recently he was involved with the Franklin-Hiawatha homeless encampment and worked closely with the tent community along with social service agencies that advocated for those at the encampment by providing much needed services during its existence.

Clink on the link below to read the StarTribune introduction article and blog post about Sgt. Snyder’s work at the homeless camp.