Most times when an officer makes a traffic stop, the violator will pull over to the side of the road and wait for the officer to approach their car, but officers stopping vehicles never assume that is what will happen.
Officer Shawn Fitzhenry and Officer Brad Wubben initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle for going through a stop sign without stopping. The vehicle pulled over to the side of the road and the driver jumped out of the car and fled down the roadway on foot. Officer Fitzhenry chased the suspect and called for assistance. Officer Jason Jensen and his K-9 partner, Zeus, responded to the scene along with other officers to assist.
Officer Fitzhenry continued to chase the fleeing suspect, but lost sight of him in a residential neighborhood. The suspect ran between some garages and hid on a portion of a garage roof. Unfortunately for the suspect, Zeus had picked up his scent and led the officers right to his location. The suspect was taken into custody without incident and found to be intoxicated. He was placed in Dakota County Jail pending multiple criminal and traffic charges. The suspect’s vehicle was towed and impounded.
WINTER PARKING RESTRICTIONS IN EFFECT
I was watching a weather report on one of the local news stations one night recently and the weather reporter stated that last month was the first month in the past 18 months that the average temperature has not been above normal in the Twin Cities Metropolitan area. I knew that it has been warm, but I didn’t realize how warm it has been until I heard that weather trivia fact. Weather has a big impact on a police officer’s ability to provide public safety services in Minnesota all year long. At this time of year as we move through fall, we are approaching one of the most challenging and dangerous environments that our officers and staff will face all year – winter weather.
Last year we experienced an extraordinarily warm and dry winter that presented few weather related problems for our officers. While we would all love to have another winter like last year, this year will likely return to a normal winter weather pattern with below zero temperatures, lots of ice and somewhere in our normal range of over 50 inches of snowfall.
The challenges for a patrol officer in providing public safety services in the winter weather environment here range from code 3 runs to emergency calls on icy, snow covered roadways to wearing enough protective clothing to stay warm outside for hours when the temperature is 20 below zero.
Another sign of the changing seasons is the No On Street Parking signs posted along city streets. There is no on street parking from November 1st through April 1st each year to keep our city streets clear of parked vehicles for snow plowing. With over 260 miles of city streets in town, it is critical for the safe and efficient removal of snow that our snow plow crews can clear the streets on their routes in one pass. Our officers have been out the past few weeks leaving advisory notes on parked cars to remind the owners of the winter parking rules, but I think that the falling temperatures outside have us all thinking of winter.
WEEKLY LPD SNAPSHOT
Sampling of LPD activity for the week of Oct. 31 to Nov. 7, 2012
Traffic crashes: 14 Alarms: 14 Animal Calls: 30 Medical Emergency Calls: 19 Thefts: 16 Traffic Stops: 171