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 . (Look for .)

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 .

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 , 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.

But the does gain some efficiencies through the cross-training programs, Johnson said. (See: .)


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john June 01, 2012 at 11:36 AM
Lee is an amazingly smart man,but Andrew hit it on the head.He left out profiling,which is what the big fat 40ish light-haired cop with glasses does to people.He's a disgrace.
Kris Janisch June 01, 2012 at 01:34 PM
Agreed, Lori Ann, I find the department, and the city as a whole, to run pretty efficiently. Let's recall the zero levy increase last year. And john, do know of a specific complaint or something? Otherwise we're walking a fine line here regarding our terms of use. http://woodbury.patch.com/terms
Suzanne Swanson June 01, 2012 at 02:30 PM
Personally, if I'm the one calling the police, I don't care how many squads show up if they are available. I'm assuming that the extra squads are only driving around anyway!
Tammy Baierl June 01, 2012 at 04:01 PM
As a citizen of Woodbury, I am grateful for the police presence in our town. Because the officers are cross trained as EMT's, they can begin first responder care as soon as they are on scene. I am disappointed in these types of comments. Citizens really need to educate themselves on our public safety system. It works quite efficiently.
Jennifer Guiton June 03, 2012 at 04:10 PM
Thank you, Tammy. When I was younger, I made a lot of sweeping accusations like Andrew, simply out of frustration. I've learned that there are good and not so good people in every field of work. If I have a problem with someone or something, I need to treat it as an individual incident rather than a sweeping statement. And many times when I address the incident, there is a reasonable explanation, because people overall really want to do a good job. Thanks to our hard working, caring Public Safety Department!


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