Ask a Trooper: Can police officers patrol outside their jurisdictions
Question: I see a lot of city police officers out of their jurisdictions. Are they allowed to patrol outside the city and stop vehicles?
Answer: Being that I am not familiar with which municipal police department you are referring and their policy and procedures, I will explain this simply: Yes, they can.
Any "peace officer" with a current and up-to-date Minnesota Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) license has the ability.
Again, this agency will have general limits in place for their operations and patrol, but due to the nature of this work, a peace officer can find themselves outside their general jurisdiction due to a variety of opportunities (training, court, warrant/prisoner transports, etc.).
You may also see many more municipal agencies outside their city during enhanced enforcement Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) projects for DWI, speed, distracted driving, etc. The city, county and State Patrol are all partners when working these TZD projects.
One of the requirements for all of the agencies that receive grant funding for TZD projects is that we work "high visibility" enforcement projects in high crash areas. It is a data-driven approach to solving crash-causing issues.
The areas that all of these agencies are working have been identified based on crash data and, specifically, crash severity.
By working together even outside of our normal jurisdictions, we create a much more visible patrol presence (the number one best way to gain voluntary compliance) even with the limited resources that many agencies are faced.
In Greater Minnesota, one agency alone cannot typically provide enough staffing for these projects and that is why we work as partners. It puts extra law enforcement officers out on patrol to focus on traffic safety while the regular shift officers take the normal calls for service that peace officers provide.
Traffic safety is everyone's business and is not just limited to a specific jurisdictional area. By working with our city and county law enforcement partners, we are creating a much safer environment in specific areas that have high crash and severity rates.
If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Trp. Jesse Grabow, Minnesota State Patrol, 1000 Highway 10 West, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501-2205.
You can follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.