MINNEAPOLIS — Vikings receiver Greg Jennings and WCCO anchor Amelia Santaniello each received a Minneapolis Police Department Community Service Award Tuesday for their speaking appearances in a counterterrorism informational video.
Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau presented Jennings and Santaniello with plaques that recognized the "outstanding and selfless service" each made to the police department and Counterterrorism Education Learning Lab.
Harteau said the video's focus is "if you see something, say something" to bring quickly bring attention to a potential threat. She said it is an important message that was delivered to officers and volunteers before the Twin Cities hosted Major League Baseball's All-Star Game.
The goal, Harteau said, was to "empower with knowledge of what specific behavior we're looking for because most people don't know how to help. They see things that are concerning and are not sure what's what, so this was helpful, and to have Greg Jennings and Amelia Santaniello do this is incredibly important. You need to have the right spokespeople, and they were instrumental in our project."
Harteau said the on-camera skills of Jennings and Santaniello enabled efficiency during production of the video and the effectiveness of the communication.
"Ameila and Greg having that experience was helpful," Harteau said. "It's nice to get messages from people that resonate in the community. That's important."
Jennings' previous on-camera credits include playing a lab technician on Criminal Minds, a football coach on Royal Pains and himself in Old Spice commercials. He said he appreciated the opportunity to help with the video.
"We got to bring awareness to "if you see something, say something,' " Jennings said. "I think a lot of times people fail to say things because they don't know what to look for. The campaign brought awareness about what to expect when there's a large gathering of people and huge events, so I thought it was a great thing for the community and the city.
"The crew was fun," he added. "We had some fun with it. I'm sure they could make a nice blooper reel, but we'll save that for next time."
Jennings, who on Sunday caught his 60th career touchdown, said he looked forward to showing the plaque to his family but would have been happy to participate in the video without the recognition.
"It's just to bring more awareness and use the platform for something positive," Jennings said. "Anytime you can leave a positive, lasting influence, that's what it's all about."
SUPER PLAN: Harteau said the police department is in the "infancy stages" of preparing for when Minnesota hosts Super Bowl LII in 2018. She said public safety officials will draw from experience the area has gained from hosting events like the 2008 Republican National Convention and this year's MLB All-Star Game, as well as information from other Super Bowl hosts.
"All these major events certainly help us, but we'll be shadowing those who will hold the Super Bowl before us, and that's usually how you best plan and prepare because things change," Harteau said. "The world changes rather rapidly so the issues that were on us when we hosted (Super Bowl XXVI) many years ago are vastly different than they are today."