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). The patrol division is the backbone of the police department. The patrol division is made up of the most highly-trained, well-qualified and self-motivated individuals in law enforcement. All of West St. Paul's officers go through a rigorous 6-8 month FTO training with continuous training throughout their careers. It is important to the department that all officers are well trained to help protect and service our community.
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 not only criminal offenses but problems that affect the quality life of our residents such as neighborhood disputes and animal issues.
Portable Audio/Video Recorders (better known as body-worn cameras or body-cams) are worn by all patrol officers during their shifts. To read West St. Paul Police Department's Portable Audio/Video Recorders policy, click here.
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In addition to these six segments, West St. Paul Police also patrol specialty areas.
SPECIALTY PROGRAMS UNDER THE PATROL DIVISION
Currently the West St. Paul Police Department has a K9 officer named Cecil. The canine unit is a primary patrol unit and provides 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 also assists our neighboring agencies when needs arise.
Several public demonstrations are conducted throughout the year to show the skills and abilities of the team. Keep an eye out for events where you can meet K9 Stanley!
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.
West St. Paul has one officer dedicated to Community Engagement. This officer works closely with a Dakota County Social Worker and the South St. Paul Police Department to ensure those with mental health issues are able to take advantage of the resources available to them. The Community Engagement Officer also does departmental reach out with organizations across the city to keep the Police Department connected with the residents and businesses.
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.
Currently the West St. Paul Police Department has an officer on the Dakota County SWAT Team. The SWAT Team is comprised of officers from the Dakota County Sheriff's Office as well as the cities of West St. Paul, Apple Valley, Farmington, Hastings, Inver Grove Heights, Lakeville, Mendota Heights, Rosemount, South St. Paul.