The Minnesota State Patrol is getting extra aggressive with the way it patrols aggressive drivers.
The Freeway Enforcement for Aggressive Site visitors (HEAT) — the place troopers patrol a particular stretch of freeway in squad automobiles and their helicopter — won’t solely continue through the summer, however the State Patrol says it plans to extend its aviation patrol by 25%.
“We’ve heard from lots of people that they’re actually glad to see the state troopers on the market working HEAT,” Minnesota State Patrol Col. Matt Langer mentioned.
The primary HEAT wave was a 10-day blitz that began Feb. 15. In that point, patrols stopped greater than 500 rushing drivers, made 23 DWI arrests and one other six for excellent warrants.
“That is a couple of very coordinated and strategic method to creating our roads safer,” Langer mentioned. “Because of this, we’re seeing a distinction. Deadly crashes are down about 14% this yr versus final yr. We need to see that pattern proceed.”
This effort began after the State Patrol met with the Minnesota Police Chiefs and Sheriffs associations to debate how the company will help with addressing crime of their communities.
That teamwork was in full pressure on March 19 when the Brooklyn Middle Police Division wanted assist with a pursuit.
“I occurred to be working that evening,” Brooklyn Middle Police Cmdr. Garett Flesland mentioned. “One among our officers discovered a stolen automobile on Brooklyn Boulevard in Brooklyn Middle.”
When officers tried to drag the stolen automobile over, Flesland mentioned the driving force took off and reached speeds near 100 mph. At that charge of pace, the commander mentioned officers needed to finish their pursuit however the HEAT helicopter was close by and picked it up, ultimately main to 3 arrests in Minneapolis.
“We didn’t have to interact in any form of high-speed pursuit, we didn’t put the general public in danger, however but these suspects that had that stolen automobile in the end have been arrested in a secure method,” Flesland added.
Later that evening, he tweeted an image from earlier within the pursuit to provide a shoutout to the companies concerned and name it “superior teamwork.”
When requested in regards to the noise and disruption helicopter patrols can have on neighbors, Langer says his company hears the complaints and is making an attempt to be delicate to residents’ considerations.
“We’re making an attempt to maneuver ourselves round, we’re making an attempt to fly as excessive as doable — we’re conscious of these complaints and we’re doing all the things we are able to to mitigate it,” Langer mentioned.
Whereas there was a giant concentrate on Minneapolis and surrounding cities, the HEAT enforcement is increasing – spending time close to Hastings on Tuesday.