Councilman Asks: Why So Many Squad Cars?
Paul Rebholz says he’s often asked why seemingly routine police incidents require such a large response.
In his years on the Woodbury City Council, Paul Rebholz says he’s often asked why certain police calls warrant several emergency vehicles—even for apparently mundane incidents.
Rebholz asked Public Safety Chief Lee Vague about that in a brief sidebar during Wednesday night’s council workshop discussion on the five-year capital-improvement plan. (Look for a story on the CIP later today.)
The councilman said he recently saw five emergency vehicles respond to an incident, and recounted a story from a resident about a squad car turning on its siren to go through a stoplight—only to pull into Perkins.
While not knowing the particulars of the situation Rebholz referenced, Vague said there are several reasons why that could happen. There could be a call about a gun in a car that turns out to be nothing and, in regards to the Perkins story, there may have been report of a fight that was unfounded and the officer went on a coffee break.
“But it’s not a matter of a call comes in and everybody goes to the call,” Vague said.
For the most part, “over response” is a metro area problem, Vague said.
Part of the issue may lie with the fact that many of the city’s police officers are cross-trained as EMTs or firefighters, Fire Chief Todd Johnson said.
“Our model does contribute to it,” he said.
However, there are instances that do require several emergency vehicles to respond, Johnson said. In the case of a crash, an officer is needed to write the report, cross-trained officers/EMTs may show up to tend to the injured and an ambulance responds to transport those involved to the hospital.