A look into the Alexandria Police Department's busy year

Alexandria police officers applied use of force 35 times in 2022 and deployed tasers 4 times

The Alexandria Police Department, located at 501 3rd Ave. W., responds to a variety of calls within the city limits of Alexandria and can also assist with calls outside the city limits.
Alexandria Echo Press file photo

ALEXANDRIA – Alexandria police officers applied use of force 35 times in 2022 — up slightly from the 32 use-of-force incidents in 2021 but down from the 48 instances in 2020.

This represents just 0.2% of the department's total calls for service.

Officers also deployed tasers four times last year, which compares to none in 2021 and two times in 2020.

These are just slivers of information from Alexandria Police Chief Scott Kent's detailed annual report to the Alexandria City Council Monday night, Feb. 27.

Kent noted that all officers complete training every year that’s related to use of force. This includes three online hours of Peace Officer Standards and Training, known as POST, and another eight hours in POST-approved in-service training.


The department also trains in conflict resolution and crisis management.

“The Alexandria Police Department believes that this investment in well-trained officers who are engaged and represent the department’s core values is a driving factor in limiting use of force applications to those instances where it was warranted and necessary,” Kent noted in his report.

Scott Kent

Kent’s 29-member department had a busy year in 2022 – responding to 17,074 total calls for service, an increase of about 6% from the previous year.

Kent said the report showcases the department's teamwork, dependability, empathy and service to others.

The “top five” calls for service in 2022:

1. Calls from the general public, 5,877.

2. Traffic stops, 2,853.

3. Medicals, 1,862.


4. Suspicious activities, 961.

5. Patrol activity, 891.

Mental health calls are on the rise. The department responded to 119 suicide threats, up nearly 17% from the five-year average. Suicide attempts in 2022 tripled from the previous year, going from six to 18. Calls involving a mentally ill person more than doubled, rising from 75 in 2021 to 163 last year.

Kent’s report included three notable cases that the department’s investigation team handled:

  • On a high value theft case from Fleet Farm, detectives contacted the Mid-States Organized Crime Information Center, a regional investigation resource, and were able to use facial recognition to identify the suspect. The suspect, who was unknown to this area, was ultimately charged with felony theft.
  • In a “romance scam,” a victim met a love interest online and after six months of talking, the love interest asked the victim to do her a favor by having him deposit checks she sent him into his account. After thinking the checks cleared the bank, he wrote personal checks and sent them where she requested. The victim ended up losing $65,000. Detectives discovered there were still funds in one of the accounts and were able to recover a substantial amount of money and returned it to the victim.
  • Patrol officers arrested a female from an outstanding warrant, drug offenses and obstruction. During a search, she was found in possession of several personal documents that didn’t belong to her. Detectives identified 12 victims of identity theft. The suspect was ultimately charged with felony identity theft, felony check forgery and felony mail theft.
Thirteen members of the Alexandria Police Department attended Monday night's Alexandria City Council meeting and listened to Chief Scott Kent's report. Their years of service ranged from a year and a half to 26 years.
Al Edenloff / Alexandria Echo Press

Other topics in the report

Other highlights from Kent's report:

The 16-member Douglas County SWAT Team, which includes six police officers, was deployed three times and resulted in multiple arrests and seizures of guns and drugs.

Sexual assault cases nearly doubled, increasing from 18 in 2021 to 33 in 2022. Domestic incidents also increased, from 225 in 2021 to 271 last year. Other violent crime stats (with the previous year in parenthesis): assaults — 27 (27), fights/assaults — 80 (77), noise complaints/disturbances — 188 (196).


Crashes increased from 694 in 2021 to 765 last year. There were 43 crashes that resulted in injuries, a slight increase from the 2021 total of 40.

The department started 2022 off with a crisis in its mechanical room when a three-inch water main broke and more than 55,000 gallons of water flooded the building. Insurance claims topped $200,000 and every system in the mechanical room has to be replaced.

School resource officers generated about 680 calls for service to assist Alexandria Public Schools. Calls that officers handled included mental health, juvenile trouble, threats, fights/assaults, thefts, welfare checks, medicals, school traffic patrols, driving complaints, public assists, crashes and child protection.

The DARE program continues to grow and expand. It no longer just focuses on drugs and alcohol, but teaches youth how to be good citizens and how to form healthy relationships. About 350 students were taught last year and Kent expects to increase to 390 this year.

Officers conducted 24 tobacco compliance checks in 2022. Two violations were found.

The West Central Minnesota Drug and Violent Crime Task Force looked into 311 cases last year – the highest volume in recent years. The task force seized 4,990 grams of meth, 223 grams of cocaine, 64 grams of fentanyl powder, 771 fentanyl pills and 94 grams of mushrooms. The majority of the cases involved narcotics but agents also responded to missing persons, sexual assaults, physical assaults, suspicious deaths, burglaries, fraud and child predator crimes. Agents gave 66 drug talks or presentations in their communities.

Detectives work closely with Douglas County Social Services. They opened a total of 345 child protection cases last year and 127 adult protection cases were screened.

The department changed its personal appearance policy, which now allows facial hair and tattoos. The uniform policy was also brought up to more modern language in order to match updated uniform apparel.


Mental wellness programs for officers was an area of focus in 2022. A new position, a clinical consultant , provided guidance to the department’s peer support team (consisting of one patrol sergeant and three patrol officers). The consultant also completed 56 hours of wellness check-ins with police department employees. A survey showed that 100% of the respondents said they felt the check-ins were beneficial and 68% agreed or strongly agreed that they felt better after the check-in.

Alexandria Police Station
The Alexandria Police Department is located 501 3rd Ave. W.
Alexandria Echo Press file photo

Al Edenloff is the editor of the twice-weekly Echo Press. He started his journalism career when he was in 10th grade, writing football and basketball stories for the Parkers Prairie Independent.
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