Tourists strolling Canal Park and downtown Duluth could soon see police patrolling on horseback.
After a 10-year-hiatus, the department is aiming to bring mounted patrol back to Duluth in time for crowds gathered for Grandma’s Marathon in mid-June.
The department will be using four horses that formerly worked for the Three Rivers Park District in Hennepin County.
“It’s a great tool for patrolling where there’s large crowds. If you’re on foot or on a bike, all you see is the backs of people’s head. If you’re on a horse, you’re way up above people,” said patrol officer Jim Matson, who will be one of four mounted patrol officers. Police will also be visible if people need help and will be able to get into areas that squad cars can’t he said. “A cop on a horse is always very approachable.”
They plan to use the horses year round, as long as the weather is tolerable for the animals, Matson said.
BY CURT BROWN
Alexandria police have connected a couple who shot a Douglas County deputy before a murder-suicide last week with a burglary earlier that day at the Douglas County Animal Hospital. Devin Blowers, 24, and his girlfriend, Katie Christopherson, 29, shot Deputy Dustin Alexander outside a farm Feb. 24.. He was saved by his bullet-resistant vest.
Authorities say Blowers later shot Christopherson and then killed himself. Their bodies were found by an outbuilding with two guns.
Alexandria Police Capt. Scott Kent said Friday that items recovered from the scene linked the pair from North Dakota to a burglary earlier that morning at the animal hospital. They took an undisclosed quantity of veterinary medication. They gained entry by force through a locked door.
Family members said the couple met in a drug treatment program in Fargo and recently Christopherson gave birth to their premature baby girl. When they learned they needed to go back to treatment before being given custody of the baby, it pushed them over the edge, Blowers' father told the Star Tribune.
Eugene Zumhofe, known as Buck "Rock 'n' Roll' Zumhofe in his pro wrestling days, tried to bolt from the court house when guilty verdicts were read in his rape tria in Willmar. Now 62, he awaits sentencing May 7 on a dozen counts of criminal sexual conduct involving a close relative over a period of years, according to the West Central Tribune in Willmar.
For a town of 4,000, Cold Spring has seen its share of high-profile crime -- including the 2003 school shooting at Rocori HIgh School and the 2012 slaying of police officer Thomas Decker.
Now, finding a new chief for the Cold Spring-Richmond police department is proving troublesome. Phil Jones, who ran the department during both the school shooting and Decker's killing, quit last July after a dispute over pay issues. He moved to Colorado.
Interim Chief Chris Boucher, who worked with Decker, has been in charge since then. But the candidate tapped for the job, Eric Johnson, came into question after City Council members learned his CPR and first-responder certifications had lapsed, the St. Cloud Times reported.
The City Council has scheduled a special meeting to discuss the search, which could restart. One proposal would insist Boucher remain interim chief for no more than one additional year.
In the 1980s and 1990s, he wrestled professionally under the moniker: Buck "Rock 'n' Roll" Zumhofe. Now 62, Eugene Zumhofe of Cyrus is standing trial in Kandiyohi County for allegedly molesting a close relative when she was 15. Zumhofe took the stand to deny the allegations from the woman, now 29. He said he never had sexual contact or engaged in inappropriate conduct, according to the Forum News Service.
The trial continues in Willmar.