West St. Paul Patrol division is made up of approximately 22 sworn officers which include 4 sergeants, 18 patrol officers and 4 part-time non-sworn Community Service Officers (CSO) under the command of Lt. Brian Sturgeon. The patrol division is the backbone of the police department. Our patrol division is made up of the most highly-trained, well-qualified and self-motivated men and woman in law enforcement. All of our officers go through a rigorous 6-8 months FTO training with continuous training throughout their careers. It is important to us that our officers are well trained to help protect and service our citizens.
A work day for the patrol division is divided up into three shifts which overlap to allow coverage throughout the cities of West St. Paul and Sunfish Lake. Patrol Officers work a nine and a half hour- six days on four days off rotations allowing for 24/7 coverage with overlapping shifts during times in which calls for service are at their highest demand. Officers respond to all types of calls for service and will conduct the initial criminal investigation and documents the incident prior to sending the case to the investigative division for further follow up.
The West St. Paul Police Department understands the importance of relating to the needs of our community therefore in 2005 the patrol division developed an area officer map to focus on the needs of our residents and community problems. These problems are just not criminal offenses but problems that affect the quality life of our residents such as neighborhood disputes and animal issues.
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In addition to these six segments, West St. Paul Police also patrol specialty areas.
SPECIALTY PROGRAMS UNDER THE PATROL DIVISION
- Canine Unit
- Traffic Officer
- Quality of Life / Parks Officer
- Arson Investigator
- DARE Officer
- MAAG Team
Currently the West St. Paul Police Department has two K9s on the department, Mike and Doc. The canine unit is a primary patrol unit and will provide assistance in tracking and apprehending suspects, conducting area searches for evidence, and has the ability to search for missing persons under some circumstances. Our canine unit will also help assist our neighboring agencies with their needs.
Several public demonstrations are conducted throughout the year to show the skills and abilities of the team.
The department has a dedication patrol officer assigned to conduct traffic enforcement activities in West St. Paul and Sunfish Lake. In addition to enforcement activities, the officer works with city and county engineers on traffic issues and conducts education efforts via social media, through the schools, and various community events.
We have one officer dedicated to the issues of livability and the quality of life experience here in our community. The officer deals with ongoing issues in city parks and facilities along with working with various other city departments including Code Enforcement, building officials and inspectors, crime prevention, and other entities to ensure our parks and neighborhoods are safe and vibrant.
The Officer conducts and/or coordinates many educational efforts including the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources gun safety, snowmobile and ATV safety courses.
The police department works hand in hand with South Metro Fire Department in the investigation of arson or suspicious fire cases. The West St. Paul Police Department has an officer that has been trained and receives ongoing specialized training from the National Fire Academy in Emmetsburg Maryland.
The officer assists the South Metro Fire Department’s fire marshal in identifying, collecting, and processing evidence, interviewing witnesses and suspects, making determination of causes of fires, and forwarding the case to the prosecutor’s office for appropriate charges.
Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E) Officer. For 10 weeks out of the year a West St. Paul Officer teaches kids how to make good healthy life decisions as it related to drugs and alcohol. This course is conducted at participating schools during student’s school day. West St. Paul Police Department has been active in the DARE program for over 25 years.
Currently the West St. Paul Police Department has an officer on the Dakota County Multi Agency Assistance Group (MAAG). This group is what is often referred to a SWAT team. The team is made up of officers from 10 police agencies throughout Dakota County and their mission is to assist member police departments with specialized skills and training relating to conducting high risk search warrant entries, and subjects or suspects who have barricaded themselves at a location who post a safety risk to themselves or others. The members of the team receive regular and specialized training that is high quality to ensure the extraordinary skills each officer possesses.