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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Burglary Prevention

One local business has been the victim of several burglaries this year.  The reason?  They continued to leave a lot of cash in the store after they closed. 
Officers have offered many suggestions to help the business "harden the target."  This includes adding lighting, adding an alarm system (can be as low as $20 a month), improving their surveillance system, taking the day's revenue to a bank night deposit box at the end of the business day and changing door locks. 

Practicing crime prevention is the best medicine.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Officer Receives Minor Injuries in Crash

There were a fair amount of crashes this holiday weekend. One involved a Duluth Police Officer who was stopped at a stop sign and was rear-ended.  Fortunately he only had minor injuries and returned to work after being checked out at a hospital.  We have had many officers injured in crashes over the years by simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Hopefully the officer is feeling good and the other driver has insurance so the City will not have to absorb the cost of the repairs....

ICR: 12-230234 Date: 24 NOV 12 Time: 1945

Location: Lake av. And 4th St.

Subject: Sqd involved 10-52

Narrative/Description: Officer XXXX was south bound on Lake Av. and stopped at the stop sign at 4th street when his SQD, car 38 was rear ended by a person who could not stop. It was snowing and very slippery out. Officer  XXXX went to St. Marys to get checked out. He returned to work with follow up instructions. Other driver XXXX XXXXX 0x-xx-91 was tagged for speed (conditions) and No proof. All proper reports completed. Damage to SQD

Disposition: RPTS



Prepared by Sgt LaFontaine

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Prescription Drug Epidemic

I continue to be amazed at the destruction opiate based prescription pills are causing in our society.  I commend several area American Indian reservations for declaring prescription pills a health epidemic.  The medical field must begin to take a more active role.  I read a statistic recently that found opiate based prescriptions have risen 300% since 1993.   I have a family member of mine who is a recovering alcohol and drug addict.  He has been sober for three years and recently had minor surgery and was given a prescription for hydrocodone-despite the fact he told the physician he was a recovering drug addict.   Talk about setting someone up for major failure.  Things are only going to get worse unless we start to get serious about limiting the prescriptions of opiate based drugs.

Here is an article from the Huffington Post that takes a different look at the issue

Is Managed Care Pushing America's Deadly Opiate Addiction?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Crowd Size? Who Cares?

At large events police are sometimes asked by the media how large the crowd the crowd was. Often police estimate how large crowd sizes will be for officer deployment and planning reasons. During the events we attempt to to determine crowd size; again to determine if staffing and planning were meeting our needs. I spent some time at the Christmas City parade last night and talked with staff about crowd size. One of the measurements we used was the amount of available parking downtown and in surrounding neighborhoods. It appeared all ramps and on-street parking was full with many people parking and walking a considerable distance. On a normal work day it is estimated the downtown population is just under 25,000 people. Considering normal ramp vacancies and street vacancies our staff estimated the parade crowd at over well over 35,000 people. However, as this article points out, these numbers are not scientific.

Check out this article on crowd sizes.

We ceased providing crowd numbers for some of the local rallies a couple of years ago due to the additional and unnecessary controversy it created.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Social Media is Changing Policing

Social media has changed the way we police forever.   While I was attending Duluth schools in the 1980's, information moved at a snail's pace compared to what happens in schools today.  When I was a school resource officer in the 90's information was moving a little faster with pagers and cell phones, but very few students had them.  Today, most kids have cell phones
and receive information instantly through texts, email,  Facebook, twitter and other sites.   When fellow students are not getting along today, everyone knows.  Rumors (true or false) are spread to hundreds of people in the press of a button.   Within minutes, thousands of people can know about a major incident.   I hear stories weekly about a Facebook postings by kids that would never be allowed by a responsible parent.  Many kids are posting their bad behavior on YouTube that no doubt would make their families ashamed.    Parents need to be involved in their kid's Facebook pages, smart phone, and computer activity.  Your involvement might keep them out of trouble and could save their life. or are worth checking out for any parent with a teenage child.
People can post anything on social media sites regardless of facts.  I have seen a few stories now posted by folks who should be embarrassed about their behavior, but instead choose to blame others and tweak stories as so they don't look as they were the ones who did something wrong.   Don't like someone?  More and more folks are choosing to blast others via YouTube and Facebook. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Nasty Crook - Take a Look and Help Us Find Him

We need your help in catching this nasty crook.   Eugene Sandberg has three warrants for his arrest: One is for 1st degree burglary, felony domestic assault, and false imprisonment; one is for trespassing; and one is for felony violation of an order for protection.  There is also probable cause to arrest him for theft of a check and felony check forgery.
The Duluth Police Department urges anyone with information on the location of Sandberg to call 911 or Sgt. Stolee of the Duluth Police Department's Financial Crimes Unit at 218-730-5475.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Daily Routine

One of my first duties of the day is to look at crimes that occurred in the previous 24 hours and read about  any serious occurrences from over night.  Every week day at 0830 staff meet to discuss major cases and discuss what has happened during the last 24 hours.  Investigators are assigned cases and command staff are brought up to speed on cases.  We make a concerted effort to stay on top of crime trends to keep our community safe.

Here is what I received this morning (some modifications to protect private data and remain respectful of the individual and family in this case). 

No serious crime incidents overnight.  
One call of interest that involves an individual man who died of was appears to be natural causes outside.  Our thoughts are with the family in this incident.

ICR:    12214835                  Date:  11/01/12                   Time:  18:27 hours
 Location:   Central Avenue/6th Street
 Subject:  Medical  

Narrative/Description:  XXXXX was driving thru the area when she observes a male down on the ground and stops to help.  Male is breathing but unresponsive with his eyes rolled back in head and clinching his fists.  XXXX calls 911.  Gold Cross and DFD respond and begin working on male who is a code.  EMS is unable to revive and discontinue.  Gold Cross does not transport.  ME office notified and responds.

Male is identified as XXXXXX , dob XXXXXX.  XXXXXX lives at XXXXXX and had just left his XXXXXXX Street after dinner.  He was walking to meet up with some friends when the incident occurred.  XXX  suffers from health issues.  Preliminary belief is natural casues and autopsy will be performed.

Crime information from last 24 hours (Burglary, Robbery, Vehicle Prowls, Stabbings, Sex Asslts, Auto Theft)  Notice one burglary and six vehicle prowls.  With the exception of the vehicle prowls this is good to see.  No violent crime. 

Reported Date
Activity code
 S 20 AVE E, 1DU, DULU
400  BLK 4 ST E, 1DU, DUL
N 25 AVE W/1 ST W, 1DU, D
  S 58 AVE W, 1DU, DULUT