Ask the Chief

Civil vs. Criminal Matters

There seems to be a great deal of confusion regarding the role of police officers in today’s society. Sadly, many people think that the police are responsible for resolving every issue a person may have ranging from child custody to bill collection to property line disputes.
The truth is that the authority and powers of a police officer are limited to criminal matters, orders by a court that specifically direct an officer to act, or very specific and limited medical situations as outlined in state statute.
Police Officers cannot decide “who gets what” when you break up with your significant other. Police Officers do not enforce civil court papers such as child custody, or collection of money or property. Police Officers are not to be used to threaten or intimidate your child to wear their seatbelt, go to bed or behave. Police Officers are not a weapon to be used to harass other people with unfounded repetitive welfare checks (which by the way could end up being a crime). Police Officers cannot decide where your property line is located or tell your neighbor to pick up their leaves before they blow into your yard. Police Officers are not your private security to be called upon whenever you get mad at someone. Police Officers investigate crimes that have occurred, and they work to prevent crimes from occurring.
All other issues can and should be handled either yourself, with your attorney and a civil court hearing, social services, or other governmental agency that has authority over the issues you need help resolving. Almost all of the frustrations that people experience are self-inflicted.
If we would simply be respectful of one another, polite, forgiving, and think before we act, we could avoid problems.
Finally, Police Officers do not work for you personally. They work for the community as a whole and are governed by federal, state, and local statutes. If you have additional questions, please come and see me.

Contact Us

The Minneota Mascot
Address: 201 N. Jefferson
Minneota, MN 56264

Phone:(507) 872-6492