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Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Uniform Crime Report

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) has just released the Uniform Crime Reports for 2018. The report is the compilation of data submitted to the BCA by the state’s law enforcement agencies. It contains the types of crimes, number of crimes, ages of victims, ages of suspect, and even the types of weapons used.

It is very tempting to compare the data to the previous year, but I find value in watching how the data is trending over a series of years. Reading the report is chance to increase situational awareness and look at what the statistics indicate about Minnesota’s law enforcement efforts.

  • The report shows there were 104 murders in 2018, which is down from 114 in 2017. A five-year look shows the number fluctuates—with 82 in 2014, 130 in 2015, and 100 in 2014. Robberies and aggravated assaults were down compared to 2017, but rapes were up 9%.

  • The number of people arrested appears to be steady with past years’ numbers: 105,329 men and 42,914 women were arrested in 2018. Arrests for meth, opioids, heroin, and cocaine were up—but the number of arrests for marijuana was down from 9,495 in 2017 to 8,752 in 2018. The five-year high for marijuana arrests was 11,590 in 2014.

  • In the category of “Law Enforcement Officers Killed or Assaulted,” the data indicated 487 officers were assaulted in 416 incidents. The most frequent activity for assault was responding to disturbance calls (161), followed by handling prisoners (107). There were no officers killed in 2018.

  • On page 50 of the report are the links to crime rate information that presents an agency-by-agency breakout of the jurisdiction crime rates and the percent of cases the agency has cleared.

The link to the data can be found on the BCA’s Criminal Justice Data Reporting section of their website.

Up next: Force Science: Realistic De-escalation Training is coming to Minnesota in September

Stay safe,

Thursday, May 30, 2019

The Stork Pin

Recently one of our loss control team members received a “stork pin.” League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust (LMCIT) Field Consultant Troy Walsh is also a firefighter, and he recently assisted with an emergency child birth. Below is my Q&A with Troy on the details of the call.

Q. Troy, could you tell us how the call came in?
A. We were dispatched for an imminent child birth medical call. These are not usual emergencies for first responders, as this typically happens in a medical facility and not at home.

Q. What were you doing when you got the call?
A. I was just walking out of my house to head to an LMCIT Loss Control Workshop. I quickly made a call to my supervisor and let them know I was going to be late, and I headed toward the fire station.

Q. What was happening when you got there? 
A. While we were en route with our rescue truck, we received a message from dispatch that the baby had been delivered, and we were instructed to continue to the scene. When we arrived, the newly born baby was in good hands with law enforcement and other fire department staff who were already on scene. We attended to the mother to ensure she was doing well and also assisted the paramedics with care of the newborn. A paramedic and I helped “swaddle” the baby in its first piece of clothing as the law enforcement officers assisted with care of the newborn. Because we now had two patients—mom and baby—the paramedics asked if someone from the fire department could ride with them to the hospital to assist with caring for the newborn. I volunteered for that spot immediately! I was the second person to hold this precious package and was able to attend to him for the entire ride to the hospital.

LMCIT Field Consultant
Troy Walsh
Q. Had you ever assisted on a call like this before?
A. Baby delivery calls are not a common call for us. In my 20+ years as a first responder, I have been dispatched to three other child birth calls—but luckily enough they were all delivered at the hospital instead of at home. Being a first responder, we are present at times when people leave this world, and that is always tough to deal with and experience. It is almost every first responder’s dream to be a part of someone entering the world. Most EMS calls involve sadness and fear, but ones like this are all smiles, and that is amazing to see!

Q. Tell us about the stork pin.
A. Once we were at the hospital, we turned the care of mom and baby over to the nursing staff. I helped the paramedics get their equipment put back together and waited for my ride back to the station. I was approached by the EMS administrative staff, and they asked if I helped care for the newborn baby this morning on the way to the hospital. I of course said yes, and they asked me to put out my hand. They gave me a stork pin for my work on the call. This was the very first stork pin that I have ever received, and I was completely surprised, as I didn’t help with the delivery. The EMS staff told me that there are important roles on every EMS call, and I had the most important role! The stork pin is usually given to someone that helps with the delivery of a baby. This is a tradition in the EMS world and is typically given by the EMS provider.

Q. Wow, what an experience. Do you have any final thoughts on the call? 
A. I have had 20 years of training for this type of incident, and the training definitely was helpful in keeping me calm. This will be a call that I will never forget!

Troy, thanks for sharing your experience—and congratulations.

Up next: June is PTSD Awareness Month

Stay safe,

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Law Enforcement Memorial

This week, the Minnesota law enforcement community again remembered its fallen officers with a 24-hour vigil at the memorial site on the grounds of the State Capitol.

The event is hosted by Minnesota’s Law Enforcement Memorial Association (LEMA), with officers, deputies, and troopers from around the state providing an honor guard. A member of LEMA continually patrols the thin blue line that represents law enforcement standing between the public and chaos. As officers end their vigil, they announce a fallen officer’s name and ring the bell three times. An electronic display continually scrolls the names of officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Below are a few photos taken just before sunrise today and again later in the morning from this year’s memorial vigil.

For more information on the services and the memorial, visit the LEMA website.

Up next: A “stork pin:” one of our own gets one!

Stay safe,