Gunshots rang out in a South St. Paul neighborhood on Thursday afternoon, leaving two police officers injured and a neighborhood shaken. One of the officers needed to be hospitalized, though his injuries were not life threatening. There was an exchange of gunfire, but a 33-year-old man was taken into custody without being injured, according to police. The officers were wounded as they responded to a routine call. It happened the day after officials say an inmate killed Minnesota Department of Corrections Officer Joseph Gomm at the Stillwater state prison. South St. Paul Police Chief Bill Messerich expressed condolences to Gomm’s family, friends and co-workers. “While our situation had the potential for a much more tragic outcome than it did, I’m grateful the injuries of our officers were not any worse than they are,” Messerich said. Dustin Allen Bilderback was booked into the Dakota County jail after he was arrested on suspicion of four counts of … [Read more...] about Two South St. Paul police officers struck by shotgun fire in altercation; suspect arrested
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The city of St. Paul has hired former Police Chief William Finney to lead a review of its K-9 unit and policies. A review is in order after a number of instances in which police dogs hurt people they shouldn’t have, a couple of them seriously, at high cost to the people who got attacked and to the city. Mayor Melvin Carter and current Police Chief Todd Axtell announced last week that they had commissioned Finney, who worked for the St. Paul Police Department for 33 years, including 12 years as chief, before retiring in 2004, to lead the review, which is budgeted at $100,000 — $50,000 in compensation for Finney, $15,000 for travel and $35,000 to hire outside canine experts — and to be completed in six months. Finney is well qualified and situated to lead the review. Given that one of the dog-attacks-gone-awry alone cost the city a payout of $2 million — to say nothing of the pain and suffering and physical damage it cost the victim, Frank Baker — a hundred … [Read more...] about Editorial: Also, should St. Paul police use dogs at all?
West St. Paul police are searching for a missing 14-year-old last seen on June 22. Kimberly Muro, of West St. Paul, is described as 5 feet, 4 inches tall, 120 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes, according to West St. Paul police. Officers encourage anyone with knowledge of Muro’s whereabouts to call (651) 322-2323. … [Read more...] about West St. Paul police searching for missing 14-year-old last seen in late June
St. Paul police officials are working on the department’s first policy about interactions with transgender people and they’re asking people to weigh in at a meeting this month. After Todd Axtell became police chief two years ago, he said there would be a full review of the department’s policies. The department has some guidelines in various parts of its overall policy manual, but this is the first comprehensive policy for employees about interacting with people who are transgender or gender nonconforming, said Steve Linders, a department spokesman, on Tuesday. “This policy is important because it reflects our commitment to treat everyone with respect and the dignity they deserve,” Axtell said Tuesday. “Frankly, it’s long overdue. This policy reflects the way our officers already treat people, but it’s good to have it formalized in writing so our expectations are clear to our community and officers alike.” A community meeting is … [Read more...] about Input sought on St. Paul police policy on interactions with transgender people
The St. Paul police department is finalizing its first policy dedicated solely to guiding how police should interact with persons who are transgender and “gender nonconforming.” The department released the draft version Tuesday and called a public meeting to help shape the final policy. Some of the guidelines include: police personnel will use an individual’s preferred pronouns, people can request an officer of a specific gender for searches “unless there are exigent circumstances,” police cannot remove a person’s “appearance-related” items like wigs and prosthetics unless there is a safety risk and the department will provide appropriate restrooms. Transgender persons will also be transported alone upon their request, and people cannot be stopped or searched in order to determine gender. The public meeting is scheduled for 6-7:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 31, at the Richard Rowan Training Center, 600 Lafayette Road N. … [Read more...] about St. Paul police release first-ever policy on transgender, “gender nonconforming” people