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Minnesota State Patrol policies, data now easily accessibly to public

Minnesota State Patrol Col. Matt Langer announced a new online resource on the State Patrol's website to give the public easier access to information.

Close-up of Minnesota State Patrol trooper's squad vehicle
Minnesota State Patrol trooper's vehicle
Contributed / Minnesota State Patrol

ST. PAUL β€” A new online dashboard on the Minnesota State Patrol's official website was launched March 20, to help promote accountability, transparency, and provide the public easier access to vital data.

According to a news release from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, the new dashboard will give people an inside look at what the State Patrol does.

State Patrol Col. Matt Langer, who presented the new dashboard tools in various slides at the news conference Monday, said the dashboard was an idea with both discipline and accountability in mind.

He said, "if you think of an organization that operates with accountability intact, you think favorably of them." Langer said the important goal of the dashboard is educating Minnesotans on what the State Patrol does on a daily basis.

Matt-Langer-Image.jpg
Col. Matt Langer, chief of the Minnesota State Patrol
Contributed / Minnesota State Patrol

Langer said the information available helps tell what he believes are great stories about members of the State Patrol across the entire organization.

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Among the new tools available to the public on the dashboard are pages with data from dispatch, use-of-force incidents and the Minnesota State Patrol's policies, the latter of which had never been posted on the State Patrol's website, according to Langer.

Langer explained some of the information available through slides, including the fact that dispatchers answered about 200,000 calls statewide in 2022 β€” 181,825 total, according to data provided on the dashboard.

Obviously, use of force is an important topic and will continue to be in the future, Langer said.

"We are incredibly proud of the work that Minnesota State troopers do every day and year," he said, noting that out of more about 437,000 interactions, 196 resulted in the use of force. Langer clarified that use of force can range from the most minimal, such as verbal commands, to the extreme of discharging a service weapon.

Of the 196 use-of-force incidents recorded in 2022, three resulted in the use of deadly force, according to data provided.

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All the data on the new dashboard is publicly available information, but it had not been posted online in one location before, according to the news release.

"(The) Method of the dashboard isn't to say that everything about the State Patrol is perfect, but one of our core values is excellence," Langer said. "Excellence to us is not a destination, it's a journey where we're working hard and looking at each other with open and objective eyes, hungry to do better and to work harder."

He went on to say that he hoped the effort is met favorably by the public. "We hope that people who support us, or sometimes are critics of the state patrol, both go on the website and click on the dashboard and learn a little bit more about what we're doing and why we're doing it."

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The new Minnesota State Patrol Dashboard can be found at dps.mn.gov/divisions/msp/dashboard/Pages or by going to the Minnesota State Patrol's homepage at dps.mn.gov/divisions/msp and clicking "Dashboard" in the tool bar.

Dale Morin is a reporter with the West Central Tribune. He covers public safety and breaking news beats.

Dale can be reached at dmorin@wctrib.com or by phone 320-214-4368.
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