About Us and Programs

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The New Brighton Department of Public Safety is rich with history and tradition, from the first Town Marshall to the current compliment of police officers and firefighters our history lives through our people.  Many long time residents remember the Police Department of the 1940’s and many of the former officers.

In 2000 the Police and Fire Departments merged to form the New Brighton Department of Public Safety.  The Public Safety department has become a model other communities attempt to replicate due to its extremely cost effective and efficient way of providing coordinated public safety services to the residents, businesses, and visitors.  

This section provides information on the history of the department from the modest beginnings to the current cadre of highly trained, equipped , and skilled officers, as well as information on crime statistics, and the rich history of the department.

To meet the needs of those we serve, we offer a variety of programs focused on keeping our community safe.  Featured below are just a few of the programs which we offer to assist our community.  

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Programs And History
History

The City of New Brighton incorporated as the Village of New Brighton on November 18, 1890 with a population of 196 residents. The first mention of a Police Department occurred in the minutes of the first special meeting of the Council on June 15, 1891, in which “special police” were appointed for an anticipated loud and jubilant Fourth of July celebration.

Some of the first mentions of enforcement actions by the New Brighton Town Marshall, the predecessor to the Police Department indicate that on, December 8, 1894, Peace Officer Frank Harmon requested the Justice of the Peace charge Andrew Mattison with “loafing around the back yard of a resident.”  Mattison was arrested and stated he was looking for a Swede house and was fined the $50.00 he had in his pocket at the time.  Among other crimes dealt with by the early New Brighton Town Marshall was the selling of apples in violation of the peddling permit ordinance for which the guilty party, Able Perelman, was sentenced to 20 days in jail and was taken by Marshall Clarence Thompson to the county jail to serve out his sentence.  Much of the early crimes dealt with by the Town Marshalls dealt with property damage and assaults as a result of drinking alcohol.

On April 2, 1982, Frank Harmon was named he Village Marshall, Fire Warden, and Street Commissioner with a salary of $75.00.  On November 6, 1893, citizens became upset at the thievery which was occurring during the evening hours and agreed to pay $5.00 for night policing.  One week later at a special session of the Council, the petition for a night policeman was approved with the hours being set from 4:00pm until 6:00am with a pay rate of $55.00 and T. H. Williams was hired for the duty.

The office of Chief of Police was established in 1946.  Lawrence (Dude) Bona was the first person to fill this post and stayed for four years.  Following Dude Bona, Mike Kush was appointed temporary Town Marshall and was subsequently followed by Donald Schaefer who in early 1952 purchased the first Police Car.

The following is a list of past Chiefs of Police:

  • Andrew (Tiny) Elsenpeter was appointed Chief of Police, a role he held for twelve years until March of 1964.
  • Paul Holmes as appointed Chief of Police and held that role from March of 1964 until March of 1982.
  • Sergeant Dennis Raymond served as interim Chief of Police from March of 1982 until August of 1982.
  • John Kelly was appointed Chief of Police from August 1982 until 1999.
  • Bob Jacobson was appointed Chief of Police in 1999 and upon the formation of the Department of Public Safety in 2000 he was appointed Director of Public Safety until July of 2016.
  • Tony Paetznick was appointed Director of Public Safety in July of 2016

(Information courtesy of the New Brighton Historical Society and A Centennial History of New Brighton Minnesota by Gene F. Skiba)

Awards

The efforts of the New Brighton Department of Public Safety have been recognized at the local, State, National, and International levels.  The New Brighton Department of Public Safety has also been awarded the following awards:

2017-Fire Department of the Year-International Fire Buyer, Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC)

2017-Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioners Award for Traffic Safety

2016-1st Place in Minnesota National Night Out

2015-1st Place in the Nation-National Night Out

2014-4th Place in the Nation-National Night Out-1st Place in Minnesota

2013-1st Place in the Nation-National Night Out

2012-2nd Place in the Nation-National Night Out

2011-International Association of Chiefs of Police-Community Policing Award

2011-Excellence In Service Award-Professional Law Enforcement Assistants Association-Office Supervisor Forbord

2011-2nd Place in the Nation-National Night Out

2010-Richard W. Schaller Award-Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association-Director Jacobson

2010- Northwest Youth and Family Services Outstanding Service To Youth Award-Ray Tandeski

2009- 1st Place in the Nation-National Night Out

2009- Minnesotans for Safe Driving Award-Officer Hamdorf

2009- Minnesota Safe & Sober Lifesaving Award-Officer Hamdorf

2009- Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association Meritorious Service Award- Officer Sypniewski and Officer Emerson

2009- City of New Brighton Medal of Honor-Officer Sypniewski and Officer Emerson

2009- Northwest Youth and Family Services Outstanding Service to Youth Award-Officer Emerson and Director Jacobson

2008- Shawn Silvera Memorial Run Public Safety Champions-Director Jacobson, Firefighter VanBeusekom, Officer Paetznick

2008- North Memorial Public Safety Service Award of Honor-Deputy Fire Chief Deschane, Sergeant Masterman, Officer Slack, Officer Olson, Officer Griffin

2006- Northwest Youth and Family Services Outstanding Service to Youth Award-Sgt. Bitzan Hieb

2005- Northwest Youth and Family Services Outstanding Service to Youth Award-Officer Paetznick

2005- Minnesota Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Award of Excellence

2005- National League of Cities James C. Howland Award for municipal excellence related to crime prevention efforts

2004- International Association of Chiefs of Police Community Policing Award

2003- Northwest Youth and Family Services Outstanding Service to Youth Award-Deputy Director Dan Olson

2003- Minnesota Association of Women Police Leadership Award-Sgt. Bitzan Hieb

2003- Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association Meritorious Service Award- Detective Bornus, Detective Sortor, Officer DeDominces

2000- Northwest Youth and Family Services Outstanding Service to Youth Award-Officer McNeely

2000- Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association Award of Merit- Sgt. Bitzan Hieb, Sgt. Werneke, Officer McNeely

1996- Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association Distinguished Service Award- Officer Bova

Ramsey County Traffic Safety Initiative

The Ramsey County Traffic Safety Initiative (RCTSI) is a collaborative effort between all police agencies within Ramsey County.  The RCTSI consists of three program elements to address the enforcement phase of traffic safety.

The first and most visible program element of the RCTSI is the DWI Saturation Patrols.  The DWI Saturation Patrols involve sending between one and three police officers from each agency within the County, for a total of 20-30 officers, to a directed geographic area to conduct high visibility enhanced traffic enforcement.  The officers’ conduct enhanced DWI enforcement in the area to both detect and deter those who may choose to drink and drive.

The second component of the RCTSI is the on-duty enhanced enforcement events.  Officers participating in the on-duty conducted enhanced traffic enforcement during their normal work shifts.  These shifts are not grant funded but assist in the deterrence and detection of those driving while impaired.

The third component of the RCTSI are the enhance enforcement waves.  These waves deploy officers for enhanced enforcement of specific traffic safety initiatives with the goal of reducing traffic related deaths and injuries.  The waves focus on seatbelt enforcement, speed enforcement, and DWI enforcement.  Officers spend 4-6 hours of grant funded overtime deployed to identify these violations and take enforcement actions.

For more information on the RCTSI contact Officer Matt Farmer.

Project Lifesaver/Safetynet

Project Lifesaver and SafetyNet refers to a system to rapidly locate vulnerable people that have a tendency to wander off and get lost.  It is a tracking tool in the event a vulnerable person gets separated from his/her caregiver.  The system includes: equipment; training; procedures; and forms.  It is administered by a law enforcement/public safety agency.

Typical “clients” include those who suffer with Alzheimer’s, Autism, Down Syndrome, stroke, traumatic brain injury, or other short-term memory ailment.  Once accepted into the program, the person has a wristwatch-sized transmitter attached to his/her wrist or ankle.  It is worn 24/7 and transmits a radio pulse once a second.   In the event the person become lost, the authorities are contacted and told that the missing person is a Project Lifesaver/SafetyNet client.  The agency responds, knowing the details about the client, and quickly locates them using the tracking radio receivers.  The range on the transmitters is about one mile on the ground and about seven miles from the air.

Families interested in Project Lifesaver or SafetyNet for a loved one should visit www.projectlifesaver.org or https://safetynettracking.com/