Blog Archive: May 2020

DVS customers waiting in line outside of the downtown St. Paul office

What you need to know to visit a reopened DVS location

May 21

Minnesotans have missed a lot of things during the stay at home order: going to restaurants; spending time with friends and family; seeing movies, shows, and sports. And whether or not you’ve missed going to Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS) exam stations, it’s possible you might have some business there now that the Department of Public Safety has reopened 14 exam stations to serve customers statewide. But it’s not exactly business as usual, so you may have a few questions. Here are some answers...

Squad car radar screen showing a driver's speed at 110 mph

Helping the helpers from behind the wheel

May 18

Mike Hanson was a law enforcement officer for 35 years – 33 with the State Patrol. He’s now the director of the Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), and has watched traffic safety issues ebb and flow over his long career. But never, in all that time, has he seen the type of speed violations we’re seeing now. Where is all this extra speed coming from? Hanson explains, “When you have half the traffic out there that we had before the stay at home order, there’s a lot more available lane space to use and, frankly, abuse.” Additionally, there seems to be a misperception, because of the COVID-19 crisis...

New troopers being sworn in at graduation

Graduating from the Minnesota State Patrol Academy in a COVID-19 world

May 14

A competitive hockey player. A Mayo Clinic dispatcher. A cellist, a pianist, a sponsored skateboarder, and a kidney donor. What do they have in common? They’re just a few of the 22 cadets who are now the newest addition to the Minnesota State Patrol. Just like everything in this time of COVID-19, the 61st Training Academy Graduation was a bit different from its predecessors. Previous classes of cadets have graduated in U of M’s Mariucci Arena surrounded by family, friends and other well-wishers...

A work group tours a potential alternate care site

What happens if hospitals reach capacity? There’s a plan.

May 11

One of the fears during the COVID-19 crisis has been that if too many people get sick at one time, hospitals won’t have enough room to treat them. Fortunately, the State Healthcare Coordination Center (SHCC) work group has been occupied with solving that very problem before it happens. The work group has identified potential alternate care sites (ACS) and is now in the process of creating a plan to use them, if needed. The SHCC works within the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) and is made up of staff from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety division of Homeland...

911 dispatcher Marty O’Hehir at his desk

‘I’m not gonna let you go.’

May 7

It was a fluke, really – the fact that dispatcher Marty O’Hehir picked up the 911 call. It could have been any of his fellow dispatchers working that April night at the Regional Transportation Center in Roseville. But Marty ended up being the one to stay on the phone for 22 minutes. Twenty-two minutes to prevent someone from committing suicide. Twenty-two minutes to save someone’s life. The suicidal caller was a man in his mid-30s. When he called Marty, he was speeding on Interstate 94 in excess of 100 mph. He was determined to die – whether suicide by cop or crash, he didn’t care...

Three firefighters stand next to bags of donated face masks

The heroes with needles and thread

May 4

When a crisis happens, most Minnesotans find it hard to stay on the sidelines and watch. They want to help, whether it’s donating blood or bringing a hotdish to a neighbor. And although COVID-19 seems almost insurmountable, Minnesotans are getting creative and finding ways to help keep each other safe. Take the recent mask drive, for example. The governor and lieutenant governor launched the Minnesota Homemade Mask Drive in April. They asked any Minnesotan who was able to make face masks, then bring them to their nearest fire department...