In September, Northfield Council approved the preliminary levy at 7%. Administrator Ben Martig said that translates to about a $7 a month increase on a $200,000 home. Last week at their Work Session, they discussed additional staffing in the Police Department and Public Works. Deputy Chief Mark Dukatz and Investigative Sgt. PT Haider talked about the need for another Investigator and a Patrol Sgt. They have had the same staffing level since 2000. Dukatz said, “it’s hard to keep up with the current calls
we have. Our City’s grown and our calls have increased. When we run short we have to bring people in”. Their budgeted overtime is $110,000. They’re at nearly $177,000. Haider said he could assign one officer to do criminal sexual conduct reports full time. Adding they’re very thorough and in depth investigations. He said, “I can’t even begin to tell you how much time they take and care you have to put into them”. He said they’re taking reports from the past that are now coming forward. He added that with Title IX at the Colleges, it’s becoming even more complex. He said burglaries and property crimes sometimes take a backseat. Reports of Vulnerable adults and child neglect have also escalated. Technology has created a LOT more investigation time as well and none of this includes the paperwork that must be done or the meetings, community events and training they must attend. Martig recommended a 4.9% levy saying that would allow for an Investigator in 2019 and a Patrol Sgt in 2020. That would cost about $4 a month for a $200,000 home. Zweifel and Peterson White want to levy at 5.8% to have both positions filled in 2019. The final levy will be set in December.
Two men being held after 2 hour armed crime spree
Two Twin Cities men and a juvenile were charged late Friday afternoon for armed robberies in Apple Valley, Burnsville and Eagan on October 10th. Three victims reported being held up at gunpoint by two men,21 year old Daiquawn
Michael Burrell-Smith of St. Paul, and 27 year old Jared Otha Washington, of Minneapolis. The juvenile was at the wheel of a stolen vehicle driving the alleged thieves. A 4th victim in Burnsville said one of the men tapped on her driver’s window with a handgun and said he’d kill her if she didn’t get out. She then honked her horn and they fled. Police tracked down the suspects with the tracking device of a stolen cell phone. They were located two hours after the crime spree began in a parking lot in Apple Valley. At that time, the suspect vehicle attempted to flee, accelerating head on into a marked patrol car. All three individuals were arrested. A search of the vehicle located three more handguns, one of them loaded. Police also recovered stolen items. The officer in the squad that was struck was treated for injuries. Bail has been set at $250,000 with conditions for the men. Their omnibus hearings are November 8th. ArmedRobberyCharged
Fewer fires but they’re “bigger and hotter”
Last week Josh Hall was making the rounds. He is with Northfield Area Fire & Rescue Service and teaches Fire Prevention each Fall to each Elementary School. While there may be fewer fires, they’re “bigger and hotter” than they used to be due to the materials used now including plastics and synthetics. The two most important points are to change the batteries in your smoke detector and have a plan to get out of the house. NAFRS also goes to the colleges and businesses to teach how to use a fire extinguisher. Next year they’ll hold their open house with their newly renovated and expanded fire house.