Investigation

The West St Paul Investigative Division is comprised of a Lieutenant whom oversees the division’s roughly 475 assigned cases per year.  The workload is equally distributed amongst four investigators and the Lieutenant.    

The Investigative Division is available Monday through Friday from 8:00am – 4:30pm.  The hours vary slightly by investigator so make sure you call ahead of time to schedule an appointment. An on-call investigator provides on-call coverage over the weekends for emergency police assistance.           

The variety of investigated cases include Part I (homicide, rape, robbery, human trafficking, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft and arson)  and Part II (other assaults, forgery and counterfeiting, fraud, embezzlement, stolen property, vandalism, weapons, prostitution, sex offenses, drug abuse violations, gambling, DUI, liquor laws, disorderly conduct, vagrancy, other) crimes.  The yearly statistics of Minnesota law enforcement agencies can be found on the Minnesota Department of Public Safety website under Minnesota Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR).   In July of 2020, Minnesota joined several other states in implementing the National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS).   UCR Part I and Part II crime will now be categorized as Group A (52 Offenses) and Group B (10 offenses).  Crimes against Persons, Crimes against Property and Crimes against Society will all be represented by city, state and county.   

In the first eleven months of 2020, following a thorough investigation, 58% of West St Paul’s investigated cases were sent to the Dakota County Attorney for felony charge review and 17 % of the cases were sent to Levander Gillen and Miller (our City Attorney) for Gross Misdemeanor and Misdemeanor charge review.  The remaining cases were determined to be unfounded or had no viable suspect and became inactive case files.

Contact Investigations

Lieutenant: Matthew Swenke | 651-552-4211

Executive Assistant - Investigations: Cassandra Fisher | 651-552-4215

Investigator: Casey Kohn | 651-552-4207

Investigator: Shannon Mitchell | 651-552-4206

Investigator: John Reynolds | 651-552-4205

Investigator: Elyse Wood | 651-552-4238

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  3. Predatory Offender Registration (POR) and Information

The West St Paul Police Investigative Unit uses relationships to help victims of crimes feel comfortable and heard through the sometimes frightening reporting and criminal justice process.  

They do this by leveraging resources provided by many external partnerships. In Dakota County alone, West St Paul Investigators regularly utilize partnerships with the following agencies.

  • Dakota County’s Adult Protection is available to help with adult maltreatment.  That is any physical or emotional act that harms or intends harm; words or gestures that harm or intend harm; forcing a vulnerable adult to perform services for the advantage of another; not providing enough food, clothing, shelter, health care or supervision; and unauthorized use of the vulnerable adult’s money or property.  
  • Dakota County’s Child Protection is available to help with reports of child physical and sexual abuse as well as child neglect.
  • Dakota County Victim’s and Witness Support is available to assist victims in understanding their rights and the court process and to obtain financial reimbursement through restitution from the offender or reparations from the state.
  • 360 Communities  MN surround people with stabilizing resources such as safe shelter, healthy food, housing support, and more to eliminate the crisis. They create a solid foundation on which people can build a successful future.

Social workers and Advocates work closely with Investigators to help build the trust with victims.  That trust is essential to acquire a complete picture of a victim’s very personal story.  This relationship puts victims in touch with the best resources available to help them move forward from a mindset of a victim to that of a survivor.   

Additional Resources:

From financial transaction card fraud to homicides, the Dakota County Electronic Crimes Unit (DCECU) is an invaluable partnership with the West St Paul Investigative unit.  The DCECU uses cutting edge technology to process electronic devices and evidence for all types of crimes.  Once the DCECU analyses the devices the information is returned to the investigative department to further their analysis and ultimately charge criminals with the crimes they committed based on digital evidence.

The Investigative Unit uses Crime Alerts via the Minnesota’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension’s Crime Alert Network to notify other Law Enforcement Agencies in Minnesota of our notable crimes.   These crime alerts contain photos of the suspect/s and a narrative description of the crime that occurred in West St Paul.  West St Paul’s Crime analyst monitors these alerts and has been successful at linking our crimes to others from surrounding metro cities. The end results is most often stronger criminal cases are submitted to the charging attorney when the offender has multiple offenses in multiple cities.  

The West St Paul Police Department’s Facebook and West St Paul Police Twitter pages are managed by the Investigative Unit.  This ensures the validity of the information being reported to our community. Information such as public notifications, special events hosted by the department, helpful safety tips, snow emergency declarations, found pets, police ride-alongs and much more can be found on our Facebook and Twitter pages.