Doesn’t it seem like 911 has always been around? It’s hard to imagine a time when, in an emergency, you couldn’t pick up a phone, dial three little numbers, and know that first responders would be on their way in a matter of minutes. But did you know that has only been possible for 50 years? On Feb. 16, 1968, Alabama Speaker of the House Rankin Fite picked up a phone in Haleyville City Hall and made history. He dialed 911 and was connected to the police department: the world’s first 911 call. So this month, we celebrate 911’s 50th anniversary.
No one likes to talk about child sexual assault – because no one even wants to think about it. It’s a crime with a terrible contradiction: We can’t believe anyone would want to hurt a child like that, and yet we see evidence of it happening all too frequently in the news. In fact, a claim of child sexual abuse is substantiated every eight minutes. So it’s up to us to prevent it when we can and respond to it when we must. Where response is concerned, the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) leads two task forces.
You’ve read and seen the reactions of the Hawaiians who received this message on their cell phones, radios and televisions on Saturday, Jan. 13: “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.” In the 38 minutes it took for state officials to revoke it, people huddled in bathtubs and closets with their children, called loved ones from the freeway, and – understandably – panicked. That no doubt led you to wonder if the same thing could happen here in Minnesota.
If you were anywhere near the Twin Cities over Super Bowl weekend, you saw extra safety and security measures everywhere: armed guards at the airport, a noticeable law enforcement presence downtown, blocked-off streets and altered public transportation schedules and routes. That visual evidence was just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what local and federal agencies were doing to keep football fans and non-fans alike safe last weekend. But what you didn’t see was Minnesota’s Department of Public Safety Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) division waiting quietly in the background.
File under “Things you never think about”: If a person is in prison for a DWI-related offense, they don’t have a license when they get out. And the longer they go without a license, the more likely they are to drive without one – which can land them right back in prison. So how to make sure they’re safely and legally driving behind the wheel? Enter ignition interlock transition help in state correctional facilities. Department of Public Safety (DPS) staff started by going to Lino Lakes Correctional Facility in the summer of 2015. They did a presentation on
the Ignition Interlock Device Program and answered the inmates’