January 04, 2018 10:20 AM
The St. Anthony Police Department no longer patrols the streets of Falcon Heights.
That job has now been taken up by the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office, effective Jan. 1.
The change, approved by the City Council last October, ends a 22-year agreement with St. Anthony. It follows the deadly 2016 officer-involved shooting of Philando Castile by former St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez.
"What you're going to see is that our agency is going to be working on problem solving and engaging people and residents of Falcon Heights," Ramsey County Sheriff Jack Serier said.
Serier said the contract for law enforcement services includes patrols, investigative services and outreach programs for crime prevention. He said six deputies are assigned to the city. One will be on patrol at any time.
Falcon Heights had been paying Saint Anthony $675,000 annually for their work. The fee paid to Ramsey County exceeds that amount.
"The estimate for service is about $960,000," Serier said.
Falcon Heights Mayor Peter Lindstrom said the death of Castile forever changed his city. And he felt residents needed a like-minded department patrolling their streets.
"It's really difficult to understand a community from just behind a windshield," Lindstrom said. "You've got to be out there. You've got to be talking to people."
Of course, the cost of this new protection will fall upon those residents. Lindstrom said residents and businesses will see a levy increase of 24 percent.
A franchise fee is also in the works.
"It's a small fee on everybody's electric bill and gas utility bill," he said.
Lindstrom said the city is currently in negotiations with both the State Fair (the fairgrounds are located in the city) and the University of Minnesota on this issue.
The Ramsey County Sheriff's Department's term of agreement with Falcon Heights will continue through December 31st of 2021. Ramsey County currently patrols a total of seven cities.
TIMELINE: Philando Castile Shooting
Updated: January 04, 2018 10:20 AM
Created: January 03, 2018 04:08 PM
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