Cass County Sheriff Tom Burch
A topic that we were asked to cover this winter—and it's a timely one with this winter's conditions and snowfall—is snowmobile safety and regulations. Our county has seen a significant amount of snowmobile traffic with the great riding conditions; reportedly, the most snowmobilers in the area in many years. In fact, the Minnesota United Snowmobiler's Association just closed their Winter Rendezvous at Cragun's Resort and they enjoyed some of the best trails that Cass County has to offer.
As we begin the New Year and work to complete our year end statistics and annual report that will be presented in the coming month to the Cass County Board of Commissioners and published on our website, I would like to share a recap of our activity during 2018. This is a snapshot of some of the activity performed by the Cass County Sheriff's Office during the past year.
The month of October has been identified as Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Minnesota and several other states. It is estimated that one in four women will be the victim of domestic violence at some point in her lifetime and, on average, three women are killed every day at the hands of a current or former intimate partner nationwide. We would like to share some information about Domestic Violence Awareness Month, both statewide and on a local level, as well as share resources locally for those who may be in need of them.
The Cass County Sheriff's Office is excited to bring a new warning notification system to residents of Cass County called Integrated Public Alert Warning System (IPAWS). The Integrated Public Alert and Warning System is a system that unifies the United States Emergency Alert System, National Warning System, Wireless Emergency Alerts and NOAA Weather Radio under a single platform.
It's a question that comes up every summer and at other times of the year with variations in the services being offered. Very recently, we have received some questions, as well as complaints, about money paid to service providers and unsatisfactory or substandard work being completed or not completed at all, specifically with asphalt paving companies. These are common financial scams that take place across the country. While they are most often civil in nature, there could be criminal components associated with the scam as well.
The Cass County Sheriff's Office has recently received some questions concerning the use of weather sirens. This month, we would like to take the opportunity to talk about severe weather warning systems and our role and response in these situations.
A program within the Cass County Sheriff's Office that often doesn't get noticed but is very active and successful is the Sentence to Service Program (STS). STS is a program designed to enable low risk offenders to work on a deputy supervised crew completing projects around the county to help work off jail time and pay fines and fees associated with being sentenced to a crime or their stay in jail.
Once again, our office has seen an increase in the number of IRS and tax-related scamming calls and inquiries in the recent weeks. These types of scams are similar to scams and phishing attempts that we have written about before, but there are some new techniques that scammers are using. We want to share some of the information we have learned with you to help keep you scam free and your personal information protected. Some of the common formats and methods that scammers use to gain personal information or gain trust are in the following methods:
Training is a major component of law enforcement and the delivery of public safety services and initiatives to our county and communities. We are constantly learning, training, researching, practicing methods and techniques, both hands on and critical thinking and planning to have the skills to respond to ever changing needs in law enforcement and public safety. Frequently, we embrace and implement strategies and concepts once they are proven and implement them into our daily operations.
It's that time of year again when it's important to talk about ice conditions and safety, especially early ice. Our fall started out colder than normal and we started to make very good early ice. However, we had several thaw/freeze events. rain and wind, which made the early ice not so great and very inconsistent, as several folks have found. Recently, our area lakes have been making good ice, but early season ice is always a safety concern and worry for the sheriff's office and all emergency responders in our area.