The Dickinson Police Department Patrol Division provides 24-hour service to the city of Dickinson. The primary responsibility of the division is to respond to calls for service such as civil disturbances, thefts, vandalism, accident investigations, and a wide variety of other routine services.
The Patrol Division also takes a proactive role in preventing crime. Officers provide residential and business security checks around the clock. With the help of citizen reports, most crime is prevented before it has a chance to happen.
Twenty-nine sworn officers make up the Patrol Division. Out of the twenty-five officers,there are four Sergeants, four Senior Patrol Officers, and twenty Patrol Officers.
The division is divided into two, 12-hour shifts: Mornings and Nights. Each shift is made up of a Sergeant, a Senior Patrol Officer, and five Officers. All seven shift officers work the same days and have the same days off. One officer is also assigned to a truck regulatory position.
The Dickinson Police Department currently has a fleet of Ford Crown Victoria patrol vehicles, Dodge Chargers, Chevy Tahoes, and Ford Police Interceptor Utility vehicles. The vehicles are rotated through the fiscal year budget in order to procure two new vehicles per year while retiring two old vehicles.
All patrol vehicles are equipped with Watch Guard Digital In-car Video systems. These systems operate on a hard drive “buffer”, allowing the officer to rewind and record the traffic offense. Officers record traffic stops and other incidents for use in evidentiary proceedings.
Supervisor vehicles are also equipped with “spike strips”.
During the summer months, one vehicle is assigned to bike patrol. It travels with a removable bike rack attached to the trunk in order for the officer to both ride bike and remain mobile over distance.
Patrol vehicles are equipped with Mobile Data Terminals (MDTs). Officers are able to complete reports, generate accident reports, run license plates and driver’s licenses, and maintain access to databases all while out in the field. Officers also have access to a robust mapping software, which allows officers to find addresses quickly in a city where new streets are being built on a constant basis.
Officers are now issued the Taser X-26P Electronic Restraint Device. These devices are used to temporarily incapacitate a violent, resistive subject. It does this by deploying two probes by way of compressed nitrogen. Upon contact with the skin, the probes deliver an electrical current that temporarily disrupts the ability for the subject’s central nervous system to send messages to other parts of the body.
The Taser X-26P has advantages over other “intermediate weapons” such as pepper spray or a baton. Once the electrical cycle is done, the subject returns to “normal”, but is usually too tired to continue fighting. There is no decontamination process, as is such with pepper spray. It is also proven 99% effective in stopping combative subjects.
Taser use will be closely monitored by the department. Officers are thoroughly trained on the use of the device as well as the legal aspects in deploying them. Every deployment will require a use of force report to the shift commander.
For more information about the Taser X-26P, you can visit the Taser International website at www.taser.com
Another tool that the Patrol Division utilizes is a speed board. The speed board is utilized during the summer months. It is placed in high-volume traffic areas in an effort to remind drivers to keep their speed down, especially in residential areas.
If your neighborhood is having problems with speeding motorists, call the department at 701-456-7759 to have the speedboard placed in your area.
State law requires the driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury or death OR property damage believed to exceed $1,000 must immediately give notice of the accident to the police department. Anytime combined damage between the vehicles appears less than $1,000, drivers of the vehicles can simply swap name, address, insurance carrier/policy number, and vehicle information without police involvement.
If you hit an unattended, parked vehicle, you must stop and make a reasonable effort to notify the unattended vehicle owner. If you cannot locate the owner, you must leave a written notice stating your name, address, vehicle information, insurance carrier/policy number, and a brief statement of the circumstances of the collision. Failure to do so is a Class A Misdemeanor – an offense carrying the possibility of a $2,000 fine and 1 year in jail.
Please remember to buckle up! Injury accidents can occur at speeds as low as 15 mph. Almost 75% of all crashes occur within 25 miles of home and on roads with a maximum speed limit of 40 mph or less. Buckle up every time! It may save your life!
The Patrol Division also offers many services outside of the scope of daily, routine traffic patrol. For instance, the division provides funeral escorts for local funeral homes. Funeral escorts are designed to move a large volume of vehicles over an extended distance.
The Dickinson Police Department reminds citizens that if you are in a funeral procession, please turn on your headlights and hazard lights. If you encounter a funeral procession, be prepared to stop. Escorts are allowed to travel through red lights and are granted the right-of-way. Please avoid from traveling through the procession until all vehicles in the procession pass. Doing so may result in a fine.
Thefts of bikes seem to be a common occurrence within the city. This problem can be solved by securing your bikes with a bike lock or by keeping them locked up in a secure location. For the bikes that are recovered, the Patrol Division takes them to an impound facility for storage until they are claimed. All bikes are issued a tag number and are entered into the department’s property database.
If your bike is stolen or missing, contact the police department and report it as such. You may also arrange to look at the impounded bikes to determine if it is in our care. After about a year without claiming ownership, the bikes are usually placed up for auction.
Being stopped for a traffic violation by a police officer can sometimes be a stressful and uncomfortable experience. The officers and administration of the Dickinson Police Department understand that a great majority of people we come in contact with during traffic stops are good, caring, law-abiding citizens that are either just having a bad day or had a lot on their mind and missed a stop sign or pressed the accelerator too hard. Though that may be understandable, officers conduct traffic stops to ensure the safety of you and the other drivers on the road. If you are stopped by a police officer, we ask for your help with the following areas to ensure a safe contact:
- Once you see flashing lights from a patrol vehicle, pull over on the right-hand side of the road as soon as practicable.
- At this point, do not make any furtive movements, such as reaching for your registration in the glove box or retrieving your license from your wallet.
- If the stop is made at night, turn on your dome light.
- When the officer approaches your vehicle, keep your hands in plain view. Officers are just as nervous as you when they first approach your car!
- Provide the necessary documents (registration, insurance, license) only when asked to do so by the officer.
- Stay in your vehicle at all times unless the officer asks you to exit your vehicle.
- After the stop, make sure to use caution when re-entering traffic.
The Dickinson Police Department strives to uphold professional, courteous, and respectful contact with the citizens of Dickinson. If you feel you were mistreated in any way, contact the police department and speak with the shift supervisor. If you feel that your ticket is unjustified, you may request a City Court Traffic Hearing by following the directions on the back of your copy of the citation.
The ultimate goal of traffic stops is to reduce the number of accidents on our roadways. Moving violations (speeding, red light, stop sign) account for a majority of the contributing factors in accidents within Dickinson. If you do happen to get stopped for a moving violation, please use more care in the future to help keep our roadways safe!
Comments and questions regarding the Patrol Division can be directed to Captain Joe Cianni at:
Phone: 701-456-7755 or email at Capt. Joe Cianni.