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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...


a semi on a highway with cars behind it

How to share the road with trucks

Jan. 28

A lot of us had trouble with math and physics in school. Some of us didn’t even take physics in the first place. So we wouldn’t necessarily know that, in ideal conditions, an 80,000-pound vehicle traveling at 55 miles per hour needs 335 feet (that’s more than a football field) to stop. Crank the speed up to 65 miles per hour and that truck will need 525 feet to stop. But knowing that can save lives. Why? Because if you pull out in front of that semi on, say, a county highway without giving it enough room, it doesn’t matter how alert that driver is. It doesn’t matter how quick their reflexes are...