Law enforcement increases presence following recent crimesLocal law enforcement agencies are stepping up their presence throughout the area in response to the acceleration of serious crime activity in the area.
By: Wendy Johnson, Pine Journal
Local law enforcement agencies are stepping up their presence throughout the area in response to the acceleration of serious crime activity in the area.
Most recently, Cloquet Police were called to the Fond du Lac Homes area last Tuesday, Oct. 9, at approximately 10:24 p.m., in regard to a report of sounds of a gunshot. According to Deputy Police Chief Terry Hill, once on scene, police were told that a male was standing in a driveway when several individuals in a four-door silver or gray sedan drove by and fired a gun from the vehicle. The victim was not hurt during the incident and had left the area prior to the arrival of law enforcement. The suspect vehicle then fled at a high rate of speed. Since that time, police have not been able to gather any further information from witnesses on the possible identity of the suspect.
Local law enforcement agencies were slated to meet on Thursday to discuss their methods of response to gang-related incidents in the area, particularly on the Fond du Lac Reservation.
According to Cloquet Police Chief Wade Lamirande, Cloquet Police planned to meet with representatives of the Fond du Lac Police Department, the Carlton County Sheriff’s Office and the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office.
“The level of crime, especially of a violent nature, is certainly accelerating,” said Lamirande. “We need to ratchet up our efforts and put together appropriate responses to the types of things that have been going on in our area.”
Lamirande said law enforcement had seen more and more indications leading up to the recent upsurge in criminal activity, especially that which is gang-related.
“We’ve seen more and more gang-related graffiti and an increase in the severity of crimes,” said Lamirande. “Hopefully we’ll get a lid on it before it goes any further.”
He said the Cloquet department now has a stronger police presence on every shift, particularly during the overnight hours, and they are utilizing all of the resources they have available to them.
“We may need to look at accessing additional funding, however, if we’re going to be able to afford the overtime expenses,” Lamirande said.
Carlton County Sherriff’s Department Investigator Dan Danielson said their department is likewise adding more patrols to some of the “hot spots,” particularly where the recent murder and shootings have taken place, in hopes that the extra law enforcement presence will help deter further criminal activity. He added that the department is also “paying a little extra attention to existing warrants to round up some of the known players.”
Lamirande stressed the importance of cooperation from the public in helping to track down the criminal offenders, stating, “Sometimes it proves extremely difficult to find people who will tell what they know. They need to help us in order to help themselves.”
However, he added that he finds it encouraging to see that a group of people from the reservation held a rally against violence last week and were wanting to “take back their reservation.”