Reporting Liz Collin
ROSEMOUNT (WCCO) — For months, some businesses in one Twin Cities suburb have been complaining that the cops are costing them money.
Rosemount bar and restaurant owners have complained to the city council that people aren’t coming out as much at night, too afraid they’ll be pulled over by police.
So, WCCO asked for the numbers and spent a Friday night staked out on the streets.
In 20 minutes, three different cops drive down the same stretch of road.
Laure Thirion got pulled over leaving a bar here last year. She says she didn’t do anything wrong and had to go through a field sobriety test. Even though, that night she says she was the sober driver.
“Just because I left the bar with my friends they automatically thought I was drinking,” Thirion said.
The manager of the VFW, Steve Poppler got one of the latest tickets Saturday night for rolling a stop sign. He says it’s helped him to understand his customers’ complaints.
“We’re lucky to have people come in at 10 p.m. anymore. People getting off work, that second shift. We don’t have that anymore,” Poppler said.
WCCO requested to see the records of all traffic stops in Rosemount from the last 5 years. In most years, police are giving tickets to about half the people they’re pulling over. For example, in 2010, they made 4,208 traffic stops and gave 2,248 tickets.
While there are dozens of citations for things like not displaying a license plate, having a cracked windshield or windows tinted too dark, the vast majority are for things much more serious like DUI’s and speeding.
Rosemount Police Chief Gary Kalstabakken will go before the city council one week from Wednesday to explain what he’s found as he’s looked into the complaints. He said nothing is pointing to any problems.
Kalstabakken added that it’s important to remember that while there are 36 square miles to Rosemount, all of the bars are concentrated to about a one mile area.