Rosemount Bars Say Cops Driving Away Business

ROSEMOUNT (WCCO) — Some bars and restaurants in Rosemount are fed up over what they say are unnecessary police pullovers. The city’s police chief is now taking a close look at traffic stops to see if something’s wrong.

At Carbone’s Pizza and Pub, the lunch rush has become a safer bet for business than what many believe is happening at night.

Co-Owner, Dave Landgrebe says it’s been a problem at his place for the last few months.

“If you leave here, you’re pulled over. For you name the reason, they got one,” Landgrebe said.

He says police park and wait outside for customers or workers to pull over with the hope of catching a drunk driver.

Landgrebe says the reasons he’s heard are never very strong.

“Their license plate light is too light, lights are out, windows are tinted. One guy had snow on his license plate,” Landgrebe said.

The VFW up the road has also noticed more cops around closing time. Steven Poppler, a manager, worries about what it will do for business.

“It’s a small issue, but getting larger as the weeks go by,” Poppler said.

A manager at Rudy’s Eye Grill says so many customers have complained they’ve stopped coming. Now, the business could close.

Rosemount Police Chief Gary Kalstabakken says his department has not stepped up DWI patrols on purpose.

“Our intention certainly is not to drive away their business,” Kalstabakken said.

The department’s made 35 arrests since the first of the year. Police made 100 arrests all of last year. Four or five years ago, the numbers were much higher, police made more than 200 arrests.

The numbers for all traffic stops were not available when WCCO visited the department.

“We don’t want officers to make bad stops. We don’t believe they do based upon what we’ve seen at this time,” Kalstabakken said.

Businesses like Carbone’s don’t condone drunk driving. In fact, it has a sober cab program. But, many customers and workers believes it’s gone beyond that, the intimidation factor is keeping customers out of town and closing doors hours ahead of schedule.

“Our job is to work together and right now we’re miles apart,” Landgrebe said.

In all, six businesses have taken their complaints to the city council. Now, the Police Chief will review video from all traffic stops in the last few months and present his findings to the council next month.

The Chief did say the department has not received any formal complaints from people who have been pulled over.

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