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A teen behind the wheel of a car

Teen driving practice: It’s not just for summer anymore!

June 14

Now that school is out and your family’s schedule is (hopefully) a little less crazy, it’s a great time to take the car out with your teen for some driving practice. After all, the weather is warm, there’s a lot more daylight, and the roads are dry: perfect conditions under which to learn to drive, right? Right…but there’s more to it than that. Your teen needs practice driving on dry pavement in broad daylight, it’s true. But they also need practice driving on icy pavement in the dark, or on dirt roads at dusk. Which means summer is a great time for driving practice, but it needs to continue all year round...


A handgun in an evidence bag

The life cycle of crime scene evidence

June 11

If you’re like most of us, you learned everything you know about evidence from cop shows. The real thing is not as simple and may or may not be missing the surly but lovable evidence locker guard with the heart of gold. To find out what happens to evidence after intake, let’s follow a gun used in a crime and see what happens to it. A law enforcement officer has two options to get the gun to a BCA Evidence Intake Sections in Bemidji, St. Cloud or St. Paul: They can send it via mail service or hand deliver it. The law enforcement officer also provides specific forms...


A 911 dispatcher responds to a text

Text-to-911 is six months old and going strong

June 7

An estimated 10 to 14 percent of Minnesotans have hearing loss, and when you look at the over-65 crowd, that number jumps to nearly one third. That’s a lot of people who need to be able to contact 911 via nontraditional methods. So when Text-to-911 was launched six months ago, it was a direct benefit to the deaf and hard of hearing community. What’s surprising, though, is how many other groups have benefited from being able to summon emergency services via text. So far, 911 dispatchers have received texts from people unable to speak because of panic attacks, asthma attacks...


A child pins a badge on a new state trooper

Thirty-one ways the State Patrol is even better than before

June 4

You hear them before you see them: The steady beat of dozens of boots on the arena floor, their commander’s voice calling out in time. And then they emerge from either side of the stage: 31 men and women of all different sizes and ages and colors. But their commonalities are more obvious than their differences. Ramrod-straight backs. Solemn expressions that acknowledge the formidable responsibility they are about to accept. And the uniform. They’re all wearing that maroon and gold uniform. They are about to become Minnesota State Troopers...


Traffic on a highway

Making your road safe, wherever it leads

May 31

Summer’s here, and the open road is calling. Where does yours lead? A quaint little cabin by the lake? Grandma’s house, to drop off the kids? Down to the Cities to see a concert? The 100 days from Memorial Day through Labor Day are most people’s best opportunity for a road trip. Unfortunately, they’re also the most dangerous. In fact, they’re referred to as the 100 deadliest days on Minnesota’s roads. Because even though that period only accounts for about a quarter of the year, over a third of traffic deaths tend to occur during it...