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Blog Archive: February 2019


The inside of an ice fishing house

When ice fishing, CO alarms are the catch of the day

Feb. 28

There aren’t many great things about the cold, snowy weather we’ve had so much of lately, but ice fishing is one of them. And if you’re an ice angler yourself, you probably take certain precautions out of habit: Make sure the ice is thick enough, dress warmly, tell someone where you plan to go, don’t fish too close to another ice angler. Sadly, there’s another important precaution at least one person forgets almost every year: practicing carbon monoxide (CO) safety in the ice house. If you have a heating or cooking device for your ice house that burns fuel, it can emit deadly levels of CO if...


Three BCA agents document evidence on the ground

Forensic science: As close to your favorite cop show as you’ll get

Feb. 25

There are more cop dramas out there than there are hours in a day. And you’ve likely been told that most of them aren’t accurate – that if you’ve decided on a career based on what happens on your TV screen, you’ll be sorely disappointed. But one thing is true about those TV dramas: They make forensic science look cool, and it actually is. Take the forensic scientists at the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, for example. The 132 scientists and support personnel in the BCA’s St. Paul and Bemidji labs are...


A home and farm buildings surrounded by floodwaters

A flood is no time to gamble

Feb. 21

You worked hard to buy your home. It probably took a long time to scrape together enough money for a down payment. Maybe you’ve spent lots of time and effort making improvements to the property. You want to make sure none of that hard work goes to waste. So why would you not have flood insurance? If your answer is “Because I don’t live in a high-risk flood area,” consider that 25 percent of flood insurance claims are in areas that aren’t considered high-risk. Perhaps your answer is “Because I have homeowner’s insurance! Doesn’t that cover flooding?” The answer is most likely...


Portrait of Dennis Lazenberry

Dennis Lazenberry: From rookie to legacy

Feb. 15

Black History Month gives Dennis Lazenberry an opportunity to reflect on his own history. Lazenberry was proud to be a part of the State Patrol, but his skin color affected every stage of his career. “I wasn’t just a trooper,” he recalls, “I was ‘the black trooper.’” And even though Lazenberry experienced his share of racism, he wouldn’t have traded his 24 years as a trooper for the world. Learn more about what it was like to be the fourth black trooper in the State Patrol’s history – and why he loved it.


State patrol patch on a trooper's uniform

Seven steps to becoming a trooper

Feb. 11

You’ve done it. You’ve made the decision. You’ve done the research, and you’ve broken the news to your friends and family: You’ve decided to apply for the Minnesota State Patrol. And although you’re just itching to get out there and start making Minnesota’s roads safer, it’s going to be 11 months before any of that happens. Why does it take so long to get hired? The State Patrol is looking for people who share its core values of respect, integrity, courage, honor and excellence. So there are seven steps you have to go through before you can get your badge...


A motorist performs a field sobriety test during a traffic stop as an officer watches

​One more way to fight impaired driving

Feb. 7

What’s your reason not to drink and drive? Is it because you’re afraid of hurting or even killing someone? Do you want to avoid crashing your car? Maybe you find a sober ride every time because it’s the right thing to do – or maybe you want to avoid getting a DWI and all the negative consequences that come along with it. There are multiple reasons, and that’s why it requires multiple approaches, such as the DWI Officer Program, to ensure people make the right choice...


Trooper Vanessa Heller with her family at graduation

Ready to make a difference in everyday lives?

Feb. 4

Vanessa Heller used to be a paralegal in family law. After that, a court administrator. But she just wasn’t satisfied. Then she saw a video that changed her life. Now, her office is a sleek, maroon-and-white State Patrol squad car, and Trooper Heller couldn’t be happier. Of course, this isn’t a fairy tale – it was a hard road from seeing that video to getting her badge. But with the support of her family and the State Patrol’s Law Enforcement Training Opportunity (LETO) program, she made it...