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Your Local Fire Department Needs Your Help

A firefighter at the scene of a structure fire

We’re lucky to have a robust, professional fire service here in Minnesota. It means that when there’s a fire, we can take for granted that our local fire department will show up and do its best to prevent loss of life and property. But the number of firefighters is dwindling. Firefighters are retiring or otherwise leaving the fire service, and there aren’t enough people stepping up to take their places. In fact, firefighter recruitment and retention is one of the biggest issues facing Minnesota fire departments. Learn more about the problem – and how you can be part of the solution – in our latest blog.

Get Lots of Sleep – But Not Behind the Wheel

A driving simulator with a car appearing to drive along a road

Many of us would never get behind the wheel after drinking, but we’re not as hesitant about getting behind the wheel after being awake for too long or not getting enough sleep. It turns out that can be just as dangerous as driving while impaired, but it’s harder to detect. That’s why the HumanFIRST lab at the University of Minnesota designed a study to find an objective test (or set of tests) that law enforcement officers can quickly and easily administer by the side of the road to identify fatigue.

Learn more about the study and its initial results in our blog.

Online Service Available: 2019 Registration Tax Lookup

Minnesotans can look up the registration tax they paid in 2019 online as they begin to file their taxes. The tool is available online. You will need your driver’s license number, license plate number or vehicle identification number (VIN).

The IRS will determine whether certain tax payments made in 2019 will be deductible on 2019 federal income tax returns. For more information, contact a tax professional or the IRS.

Drug Seizures on the Rise

Violent Crime Enforcement Teams across the state saw a rise in drug seizures in 2019.

  • For the 12th straight year, VCETs seized a record amount of methamphetamine.
    • The 1,706 pounds of meth seized in 2019 is a 642 percent increase over the last five years.
  • The production of marijuana concentrates continues to grow: Minnesota has seen a 62 percent increase in seizures from 2018 to 2019.
  • After years of declining cocaine seizures, VCETs have seen significant increases in the last five years.
  • Investigators are finding that much of the heroin being seized contains fentanyl.
    • Fentanyl is a highly dangerous substance; a very small amount can be deadly.
    • Drug users need to be aware of the serious consequences of taking substances because what is actually in the drug is unknown.

Featured Video

Video Description: This video will help Minnesotans understand exactly what they need to do to make sure they’re REAL ID ready by Oct. 1, 2020.