Years ago as a patrol officer, I was having a conversation with a forensic pathologist about living a long life. I asked him what I could do to live longer. Without a moment of hesitation he said, “Do the following three things: don’t smoke, exercise, and wear your seatbelt every time you drive or ride in a car.” When I talk to people about seatbelt use in vehicles, I often think back to that advice I heard so many years ago.
To drive that point home with a more recent example, I was reviewing the daily activity reports this week and saw that Officer Chad Loeffler responded to a rollover crash on Tuesday in which there were five teenagers in the vehicle. When he arrived on the scene, he found that the vehicle had gone off the roadway and rolled over on its roof in the ditch. Officer Loeffler was relieved to find that the driver and all four passengers were uninjured in the crash because they were all wearing their seatbelts.
In Minnesota, most surveys of drivers put seatbelt use somewhere in the 90 percent range for drivers and passengers. We would like to see everyone use this simple, but critical safety device all the time.
To help make that happen, this past Monday all the Dakota County Law Enforcement Agencies held a concentrated seatbelt enforcement event to improve seatbelt use. In , I teamed up with Traffic Officer Nic Stevens, Officer Jessica Swaner and Community Service Officer Jason Aguirre to conduct a dedicated seatbelt enforcement. Sergeant Andy Bohlen and Sergeant Jason Polinski had their dayshift patrol team work on seatbelt enforcement as well. During the course of the day, over 50 traffic stops were made for motorists not wearing their seatbelts.
Weekly LPD Snapshot
Sampling of LPD activity for the week of May 17 to May 24, 2012:
Traffic crashes: 17 Alarms: 28 Animal Calls: 52
Medical Emergency Calls: 36 Thefts: 12 Traffic Stops 252
New officers sworn in
Every sworn police officer in the state of Minnesota takes an “Oath of Office” to support the Constitution of the United States and the state of Minnesota and to faithfully discharge the duties of police officer to the best of their abilities.
This past Monday night at the meeting, our newest police officer, Anna Limbeck, took the Oath of Office before Mayor Mark Bellows and the entire City Council.
After taking the Oath of Office, Officer Limbeck had her new badge pinned on her uniform by her father, Marc Limbeck, who is an Edina Police Officer. There were many supportive and proud family and friends in attendance in the City Council chambers to witness Officer Limbeck take the Oath of Office.
The ceremony of publically taking the Oath of Office is an important moment in a new officer’s career. To take the Oath of Office is not only a proud moment of achievement in a newly hired officer’s law enforcement career, but also a moment of thoughtful realization of the responsibility and trust placed in a police officer by the community that they serve.
The police officer Oath of Office is far more than just a ceremonial moment; it is the opening statement of a career-long relationship that a police officer will have with the citizens that they will serve. The officer taking the oath makes a solemn vow to enforce the law in a fair and impartial manner and to uphold the highest ideals of our democracy that were established for our country by the Constitution.
Officers do not take the Oath of Office lightly. All officers refer to themselves as “sworn” officers, referring back to taking this oath. Through every officer’s career, we judge our actions as police officers against the standard of ethics set forth in the Oath of Office.
It is a high standard, but one that our profession requires.