LINO LAKES – 2020 has been a year like no other for the Lino Lakes Public Safety Department.
Public Safety Director John Swenson urged council and the public to keep this in mind when looking at the statistics in the ministry’s 2020 annual report and comparing them to previous years.
“In 2020, the Public Safety Department resisted several changes in our operations, as did our community, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, civil unrest in the Twin Cities metropolitan area, which followed the death of George Floyd, and homicide in our community, ”Swenson said. “This has been a trying and stressful year for the department and for our community as a whole.”
There was arson, 40 aggravated assault, 32 common assault, 16 burglaries / break and enter, 22 counterfeiting / forgery, 91 destruction / damage / vandalism of property, 116 drug / narcotics offenses, 91 material violations, 22 pretenses / scam / con, 60 identity thefts, two kidnappings / kidnappings, 45 motor vehicle thefts, 110 other thefts, 35 disorderly conduct, 126 DUI and 22 alcohol law violations .
The town of Lino Lakes also saw its first homicide since 2008. Two people have been arrested and charged with second degree intentional homicide and are awaiting trial.
There were 13,214 case numbers generated in 2020, up from 13,964 in 2019. The average response time (for emergency and non-urgent calls) was 6 minutes and 41 seconds. There were 618 medical calls for service in 2020, up from 759 in 2019. The average emergency response to a medical call was 5 minutes and 52 seconds.
The Investigation Division investigated 299 criminal cases; 116 of these investigations resulted in the case being referred to the public prosecutor for criminal charges. In addition, 45 search warrants were executed as part of the investigation process and 76 cases from child and adult protection organizations were reviewed and investigated.
There was a slight reduction in service calls for the fire division in 2020 (371) compared to 2019 (379). The majority of service calls (40) were related to vehicle collisions, down from 52 service calls in 2019.
There were 15 service calls that involved fires resulting in property damage / loss of $ 241,450. Thanks to the ministry’s firefighting efforts, assets worth over $ 13.6 million were saved in 2020.
The Archives Unit processed 8,042 police reports; filed 1,574 citations; processed 457 handgun purchase permit applications; issued 123 dog licenses; performed over 300 local registry audits; processed over 650 criminal histories; and processed 56 burning permits.
As the Centennial Fire District (CFD) considers options for the future of its department, the Lino Lakes Fire Division will likely need to make changes.
Swenson said that while there is currently no cause for concern, there could be some in the future if the city does not come up with a daytime response plan to fire calls. He recommended that council consider setting up a day service team from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. The hope would be to use part-time staff, but the city may need to consider full-time staff.
“We have to approach this with our eyes wide open. The experience in other cities has been the hiring and retention of part-time staff is very problematic and difficult, and turnover rates are high. Many suburban agencies have to switch to full-time staff to provide these hours, ”he explained. “We’re on the clock. As we grow, as we have more housing and as our number of calls increases, there will be a day, I don’t know when that day, where it will be like that.
At the same time, the city submitted an informal proposal to CFD on what it might look like if Lino Lakes provided services to the cities of Circle Pines and Centerville. However, most of the details remain unresolved until the CFD decides which direction it would like to go. A meeting of the fire steering committee is scheduled for later this week to discuss options, but a decision has yet to be made.