News Flash

City of Minot News Flash

Posted on: April 21, 2022

PD overcomes challenges during historic storm

Minot PD vehicles

Maintaining law and order in Minot is busy and stressful enough during ordinary weeks. Throw in an historic storm that dumped 48 inches of snow on the city and things quickly get complicated.

“It was an interesting experience,” Police Chief John Klug said. “Everybody kept a positive attitude and that helped, too. It was definitely a team effort by all departments of the City. We did the best we could to continue to provide service and protection to the community.”

It wasn’t easy.

From April 12 through April 17, when the city received 48 inches of snow, the Police Department responded to a total of 496 calls for service, including 22 accident property damage calls, 5 hit and runs, 20 stalled vehicles, 72 traffic complaints, 23 parking complaints, 25 public assists, and 36 welfare checks.

Klug said the department maintained fairly normal operations through Tuesday night. That changed on Wednesday.

“It got to the point where we stationed officers in vehicles in strategic locations where we could find a clean lot to park,” he said. “We had the officers spread out so we could get to areas faster because we had a lot of issues with getting stuck.”

“We worked closely with the City Street Department and they helped us get to certain areas where the roads were plugged,” Klug added. “Eventually, we kept a plow at the Police Department to help us get around.”

Klug said plow operators also helped Police Department personnel get to and from work during shift changes.

“They would run a plow to help people get home, or at least get people close enough to home where they could walk the final little way,” he said. “Then they helped us get people back to work, too. It took a lot of time and resources to do it, but we needed to keep rotating our personnel to stay effective.”

Klug said he was happy that most residents followed the no travel advisory he issued because it helped his department focus on emergency responses rather than stuck vehicles, although there were still some of those calls.

“I think this was an obvious case where everyone knew it wasn’t wise to be out on the streets,” he said. “We did get a lot of calls to Central Dispatch asking about snow removal and other follow-up calls because people know that Central Dispatch is one place where someone will always answer the phone. We just tried to explain the big picture to callers, and assured them that City crews would be cleaning streets and other things as soon as possible.”

After the storm, Klug said his department will use the experience to put together plans for the next historic snow event.

“Are we prepared? This doesn’t happen often, so how do we prepare for the next one? Are there things we can do differently? These are important questions down the road so we can make sure we’re ready to protect and serve the community when the next storm happens,” he said. 

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