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Drug, domestic calls rise in Osakis

Osakis Police Chief Chad Gulbranson

The police have been very busy in Osakis this past year.

The 2017 report given by Police Chief Chad Gulbranson at the city council meeting on Jan. 8 detailed a 17 percent increase in the number of service calls the police responded to from 2016. And 2016 was a big year too. The police answered 65 percent more calls in 2017 than they did in 2015.

"The last two years have been very busy," Gulbranson said.

For the year, the police handled 3,147 calls.

Gulbranson reported notable increases in felony level drug arrests. In 2016, the department made three felony drug arrests. Last year, they made 11.

"We're going after it," Gulbranson said about the drug arrests. "We're doing more active policing."

Another increase the department recorded was in the number of domestic calls they received. In 2016, they answered 13 domestic calls. In 2017, they were called 37 times for domestic issues.

"A lot of these domestic calls, I don't know how to say this, are they really nuisance calls?" council member Jerry Olson asked. "Are they serious or not? These numbers keep going up and I'm trying to figure out why."

Gulbranson assured Olson that if the call is labeled a domestic, it's because the situation is a domestic violence situation.

"Not all domestic situations are physically violent," Gulbranson said.

The domestic calls seem to be coming from similar areas of town that are mostly populated by renters. Council member Justin Dahlheimer suggested investing in the rental properties and exploring different ways to revitalize the situation.

The police made 109 custodial arrests where someone spends time in jail, which is way up from previous years. They issued 105 city nuisance violations, which is a 64 percent increase form the previous year.

The department made 18 DWI arrests in 2017, including a first degree felony DWI arrest on Christmas Eve. According to Gulbranson, the number of DWIs is neither increasing nor decreasing.

Mayor Keith Emerson asked about why there were no police officers on duty on New Year's Eve. Gulbranson explained that no one was available.

"If any calls came in, I would have responded," Gulbranson said. "But no calls came in."

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