West St. Paul Patrol division is made up of approximately 40 officers. We have 20 patrol officers and 3 part-time non-sworn Community Service Officers (CSO). The patrol division is the backbone of the police department. The patrol division is made up of the most highly-trained, well-qualified, and self-motivated individuals in law enforcement. All of West St. Paul's officers go through a rigorous 4-6 month FTO training with continuous training throughout their careers. It is important to the department that all officers are well-trained to help protect and service our community.
A work day for the patrol division is divided up into three shifts which overlap to allow 24/7 coverage throughout the cities of West St. Paul and Sunfish Lake. Officers respond to all types of calls for service and conduct the initial criminal investigation.
The West St. Paul Police Department understands the importance of relating to the needs of our community therefore in 2005 the patrol division developed an area officer map to focus on the needs of our residents and community problems. These problems are not only criminal offenses but problems that affect the quality of life for our residents such as neighborhood disputes and animal issues.
Portable Audio/Video Recorders (better known as body-worn cameras or body-cams) are worn by all patrol officers during their shifts. To read West St. Paul Police Department's Portable Audio/Video Recorders policy, click here.
To email an Officer or Sergeant, click their name below:
In addition to these six segments, West St. Paul Police also patrol specialty areas.
SPECIALTY PROGRAMS UNDER THE PATROL DIVISION
Currently, the West St. Paul Police Department has two K9 officers, Cecil and Bear. The canine unit is a primary patrol unit and provides assistance in tracking and apprehending suspects, conducting area searches for evidence, and having the ability to search for missing persons under some circumstances. Our canine unit also assists our neighboring agencies when the needs arise.
Several public demonstrations are conducted throughout the year to show the skills and abilities of the team.
Support our K9 program by ordering WSPPD K9 Cecil and K9 Bear gear. All proceeds go to our K9 program.
The department has a dedicated patrol officer assigned to conduct traffic enforcement activities in West St. Paul and Sunfish Lake. In addition to enforcement activities, the officer works with city and county engineers on traffic issues and conducts education efforts via social media, schools, and various community events.
West St. Paul's Community Engagement Unit works together to create and maintain relationships between the Police Department and the residents and businesses in West St. Paul.
Positions that make up the Community Engagement Unit:
- Embedded Social Worker with Dakota County
- Mental Health Officer
- Dakota County Crisis Social Worker
- Multihousing Officer: The multi-housing officer currently directly develops and enhances the relationships between property owners, managers and tenants with the police department and common rental licensing issues. The focus is to foster a safe living environment by promoting a crime free agenda for all involved. This position is to be the main liaison between the police department and the community for questions and concerns on developing issues or complaints. This position has also evolved into assisting other city staff and departments with problem properties throughout the city.
The police department works hand in hand with South Metro Fire Department in the investigation of arson or suspicious fire cases. The West St. Paul Police Department has an officer that has been trained and receives ongoing specialized training from the National Fire Academy in Emmetsburg Maryland.
The officer assists the South Metro Fire Department’s fire marshal in identifying, collecting, and processing evidence, interviewing witnesses and suspects, making determination of causes of fires, and forwarding the case to the prosecutor’s office for appropriate charges.
The primary mission of SOUTH METRO SWAT is the preservation of human life. The SWAT Team assists member law enforcement agencies and non-member law enforcement agencies, should they request mutual aid, in the resolution of high-risk or critical incidents. SWAT is specially trained and equipped to work as a coordinated team to respond to and resolve critical incidents.
Examples of situations where SWAT can be of assistance include, but are not limited to, the following:
A. Incidents of hostage taking;
B. Incidents of a barricaded suspect(s);
C. Building or field searches for armed or dangerous suspects;
D. High risk warrant service;
E. Incidents of civil disturbances and crowd control;
F. Providing and assisting with dignitary protection; and
G. Any other high risk incident or situation deemed appropriate by the SOUTH METRO SWAT Operating Board.
As a function of maintaining readiness for any such incidents, SWAT operators must maintain higher qualifications standards than the average patrol officer. SWAT operators must pass an annual physical fitness test, qualify twice a year with their weapons systems with an 85 percent standard for handgun and 90 percent for rifle. The SWAT team trains monthly with a 40 hour block every fall. Operators must attend at least 75 percent of trainings, in addition to the mandatory 40 hour block.
Currently, the West St. Paul Police Department has three officers on the Dakota County SWAT Team. The SWAT Team is comprised of officers from the Dakota County Sheriff's Office as well as the cities of West St. Paul, Apple Valley, Farmington, Hastings, Inver Grove Heights, Lakeville, Mendota Heights, Rosemount, and South St. Paul.
The DUI Enforcement Officer position is a grant-funded position through the Towards Zero Death (TZD) Enforcement Program with the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety. The purpose of this position is to have a dedicated officer within the department with the sole responsibility of enforcing impaired and/or distracted driving. Officers are typically assigned to this role for several months at a time and spend their time conducting traffic stops, educating motorists on traffic laws, and apprehending impaired drivers who pose a serious danger to themselves and others on the roadway. Since the program launched in 2021, the DUI Enforcement Officer position has been responsible for more than 100 impaired driver arrests in the city of WSP.
The Drug Task Force focuses on the sale, distribution, and use of narcotics. The task force also investigates gang and violent offender crime. It is a cooperative effort on behalf of all Dakota County law enforcement agencies and the Savage Police Department.
The School Resource Officer (SRO) helps to maintain a safe learning environment and to engage and grow relationships with our students and the community. The SRO has an office out of Two Rivers High School but serves the entire 197 School District.
West St. Paul Police Department works in collaboration with Dakota County to offer a progressive model of coordinated response to support the community’s mental health needs. The Mental Health Team at West St. Paul PD consists of a mental health officer, a Dakota County embedded social worker, and a Dakota County embedded crisis response worker. This team works directly with community members in crisis to identify mental health symptoms, determine informal/formal support networks, safety plans, and determine the needs of individuals in crisis. The team also offers post-crisis follow-up to check in on individuals and offers service-connection as needed. The team partners closely with the Dakota County Crisis Response Unit which can be reached 24/7 every day of the year.
Anyone living in Dakota County can call the Dakota County Crisis Response Unit at 952-891-7171 for assistance.