A powerful research tool for the serious or casual visitor.
Home > Government

Most viewed - Government
Sector_1_35_W_and_13_looking_toward_Lakeville.jpg
Interstate 35W and Highway 13293 viewsInterstate 35W and Highway 13 looking toward Buck Hill - photo compliments of the City of Burnsville.
Police_Department_history_Crnobrna_1988~0.pdf
Police Department history Crnobrna 1988227 viewsBack to the Future
by
Mike Crnobrna 06/10/88

I firmly believe that basic training in any organization should include a history of that organization. Here are a few facts about the Burnsville Police Department taken from my
perspective as a former Burnsville Officer. After you read it, I would encourage you to quiz others more senior to the Burnsville experience than yourself for their perspective as well.
THE BEGINNING
In August of 1961, Bloomington decided to annex the NSP Blackdog electrical generating plant and obtain the revenue that would go with it. If the 2,700 citizens of Burnsville wanted to keep it, they would have to organize to fight for it. The Village of Burnsville was incorporated in July of 1964. Incorporation would have come eventually with the post World War II suburban push. Bloomington just helped usher it in a little sooner. Burnsville itself was born out of controversy. The future police and fire service would also be marked by controversy and a pension for the radical and non-conforming.
With the growth of the young village, the need for police service grew. The early law enforcement tasks were in the hands of a number of elected constables over the years, including former Public Works Supervisor Ed Giles. In July of 1964, the Council hired former Minneapolis Police Inspector Edward Farrell to start a Burnsville Police Department. Farrell held a Bachelors Degree in Sociology from the University of Minnesota and had been in charge of police training in Minneapolis prior to taking the position of Chief in Burnsville. He would take the department from its infancy as a Police Department to its infancy as a Public Safety Department.
The first police station was in a building on the site of Ames Construction on County Road 5, but by November, 1964, it was moved to the dental building on County Road 34 near County Road 5. It then moved to 1313 East Highway 13, where it occupied the east side of the City Hall building. The current police station was not built until 1976. By the end of 1965, a total of ten officers had been hired. They had short haircuts, black and white squad cars, and brown uniforms. Stories of those early years, such as die great flood of 1965, or how Paul Anselmin thwarted the getaway of the Faribault armed robbers, would be passed on to the many rookies who were to follow those original ten.

You might take the fact for granted that the City has its own highly skilled paramedic ambulance service today, but until the early 70s, Allen's Towing Service was also the ambulance service! You had to specify which kind of body needed to be hauled: vehicular or human.

THE McINNIS YEARS: Totally Consolidated Public Safety
In June, 1965, the Village hired a manager by the name of Patrick Mclnnis who developed some rather different ideas of how a Police Department should look and operate. Fire protection was a growing problem in this young community. The fire protection of those early days was provided by contract with the Savage Volunteer Fire Department. River Hills residents actually wanted to contract to the Eagan Volunteer Fire Department. The need for a change in the fire protection system was there. Why not have the Police Officers do the firefighting? They are at the fire scene anyway! In 1968, the Burnsville Police Department became what is known as a totally consolidated Public Safety Department, with all officers cross-trained as both Police Officers and Firefighters. The Burnsville Police Officers became Burnsville Public Safety Officers (PSOs). In a newspaper article of that time, Mclnnis stated it was an "experiment".

BLAZERS ON PATROL
Get them out of those brown military uniforms! Put them in business suits! Well,okay, maybe business suits are a little too radical. How about blazers? Dark blue blazers? So it was. by June, 1969, the official uniform of the Burnsville Department of Public Safety (BDPS) was a blue blazer or "blue bag" as some of the former Burnsville Police Officers referred to it. The pants were French blue! The shirt and ties? Well, whatever met your personal sartorial fancy. I personally preferred the Steve McQueen "Bullet" look, with a dark turtleneck and shoulder holster. The standard issue weapon was a 2^-inch .357 magnum with a drop pouch of six extra rounds on the belt. The handcuffs were looped through the same belt in the back. Long hair and beards became acceptable with this non-military uniform. At the time,this was considered very radical for a street cop.

FOUR-YEAR COLLEGE DEGREE
There were no educational requirements for Minnesota law enforcement officers until 1978. An officer was hired and sent to the BCA for two months of basic training. In 1969, Pat Mclnnis was ahead of the times in that respect. To be hired as a Public Safety Officer,a candidate had to have a four-year college degree; the major was not specified as long as it was a Bachelors Degree.

The police/fire combination, the blazers, and the four-year degree, were the trademarks ofthe old Burnsville Department of Public Safety. Radical and in tune with the times. Each of these trademarks were eventually abandoned.

THE COUPER INFLUENCE
There is a long list of former employees of the Burnsville Public Safety/Police Department. Many people had varying degrees of influence on what eventually became the modem Burnsville Police Department. Nobody had more of a dramatic effect in those early years than Dave Couper. Public Safety Director Ed Farrell died at the age of 59, in December, 1968. In March, 1969, Mclnnis hired Couper, who was 30 years old at the time, as the new Director. Like Farrell, Couper came from the Minneapolis Police Department. He had a Masters Degree in Sociology and was an energetic and charismatic leader of ideas and action—with the actions usually following the ideas rather quickly.

Change became a way of life for the PSOs under Couper. He also set a philosophical tone for the department. Recruiting efforts referred to "joining the Domestic Peace Corps" and the
"new breed"of officer. The idea of an officer being both a law enforcer and a social service agent was instilled in each rookie. The humanitarian and public relations aspects of the job were emphasized. Discounts and gratuities of any kind were unacceptable. At the end of 1972, he departed to become the Chief of Police in Madison, Wisconsin, the position in which he still serves. Twenty-eight year old Michael DuMoulin, one of the ten original Burnsville Police Officers, replaced him as the Director of Public Safety. Couper's influence was apparent and spoken of often when I started in 1973. That influence is apparent to me today, even though some of the new officers might net even recognize his name.

THE CHIEF FACTORY
During my first interview with Pat Mclnnis, he explained that under "his" Public Safety System, officers are "trained to leave". (Ask me about my second interview with him some time.) What he was talked about was the stance on education and training he had taken in regard to "his" PSOs and the reputation that the department had gained. At that time, college educated cops with street and management experience were in demand for executive jobs in other police departments. During that era, Burnsville was producing Chiefs at an impressive rate for a department of its size. There was an assumption that most PSOs would leave Burnsville's management training program probably within five years. That was 1973. By the close of the '70s, that Chief production would taper off. Like the new manufacturing business, the market changed. In this case, so did the factory.

THE UNIONIZATION OF BDPS
Burnsville employees who were not here at some point during the genesis of the unions may have heard something about those series of events during the late 70s. The sides polarized. The lines were drawn. It was "good guys" against "bad guys". Unions do not spring from ethereal nothingness. Changes were taking place that made unionization inevitable. Changes were taking place in the country, in law enforcement, in the fire service, in the expectations that BDPS employees had of management,and in the political realities of Burnsville. The Burnsville Department of Public Safety had reached puberty. Two main characters in the drama collided. Union President Tom Van Hoofand City Manager Pat Mclnnis faced off head-to-head during a City Council meeting. Van Hoofwas fired only to be later reinstated by the Minnesota Supreme Court. Mclnnis resigned. The events surrounding unionization could either make excellent material for a doctoral thesis or keep a soap opera on television for years. By the beginning of the 1980s, a now very different Public Safety Department emerged. There was massive turnover. Some of the changes were:

A) Blazers Out Military Uniforms Back In:

September 1, 1977, on Dog Watch, everyone turned blue. Most Patrol Officers had never worked in police uniforms. It was like watching kids with new toys. The blazer was a vestige from another era. During the '60s war protest era when the term "pig" was used to refer to cops, it made sense. A new approach was needed back then. And in a young suburban community like Burnsville it worked. But the times had changed. Also, the original PSO equipment had expanded from those few original bare essentials to gun belts, handheld radios, speed loaders, flashlights, night sticks and other paraphernalia, until the equipment rivaled Batman's utility belt. The blazer started to look like a circus tent on even the most ectomorphic PSO.
Officer identification was also becoming more of a problem. Any old PSO and his/her story of the identification problem. Mine is the man-with-a-gun call at Howard Johnson's (now called the Burnsville Royale), where the desk clerk asked me, "Do you have reservations?", thinking that I was a perspective guest. Then there was the famous Embers brawl where at least three PSOs were in a pile of battling humanity on the restaurant floor. An excited bystander suggested that somebody should call the cops. The city was bigger and busier. The identification problem helped usher in the end of the blazer.
The first uniforms had no patches. That was a later addition. Officers were polled as to their preferences on the exact style and color of the uniform. That original design developed into the award winning ensemble of today.

B) Military Rank Terminology Back In:
From CSO, PSO, PSOII, Agent, PSS, PPS II, and NSOIC, the rank terminology changed to Corporal (for Sergeant) and Sergeant (for Lieutenant). The term Captain was used on Fire shifts. The Corporal rank was later dropped.

C) Full-Time Dispatchers Were Hired to Replace CSOs:
CSO, or Community Service Officers, were college students working on their degrees so that they could become PSOs. They had been doing the dispatching since 1969. Dakota County originally dispatched Burnsville units. A few CSOs actually worked in marked patrol cars and were not armed.

D) 24-Hour On-Duty Fire Suppression Shifts:
Firefighting personnel came from squads, where fire turnout gear was carried in the trunk, or from off-duty response. For a time, off-duty response was mandatory for all calls, no matter how minor. CSOs would drive the trucks to the scene.

E) Overtime Pay. Court Time Pay. Fire Call-Out Pav:
Prior to unionization, all sworn personnel were considered straight salaried "professionals". Many long hours were spent at fires, in court, on investigations, and on extended shifts with no extra compensation or time off. In the early 70s, the average age of the department was about 24 years old, with many unmarried or married/childless PSOs. Ambitious young officers did this without extra compensation because they were being "trained to leave". The times and personal situations changed. The promotional "carrot" was not enough any more.

F) Four-Year College Degree Requirement Was Dropped:
The State of Minnesota began requiring two years of education in 1978. Requiring more education was considered discrimination.

G) Separation Of The Fire And Police Services:
This had been a core issue since Public Safety started in 1968. On November 29, 1981, the great "experiment" was over. You may have heard of those who still have their "chip" or "wooden nickel"; this refers to the option to return to the opposite service that you chose in 1981. A Police Officer could return to the fire service, or a Firefighter could return to the police service, but only one time. Some people used their chip; others gave it up; some still hold it today. Speak to those who were there on both sides of the unionization conflict. The difference in perspective is comical.

THE POLICE DEPARTMENT TODAY
It took a while to get use to the idea of new employees coming in to do one job, not both police and fire. This may sound strange to those who never experienced the Public Safety days. It just seemed odd at first. But now a separate Police Department is as common and as a matter of fact as Public Safety once was. It's fun to hear the rumors still surface about the reported return to totally consolidated Public Safety. In comparison, the odds o f that happening would have made the Twins look like a sure thing to win the World Series in the Spring of 1987.

I believe the modem Burnsville Police Department is an organization that you can truly be proud to be a part of. It has a strong tradition of humanitarian service to the public and has always lived up to the PRIDE slogan celebrated by die City. The excellent cooperation with the Fire Department that you will experience as a Burnsville Police Officer today is a legacy left to you from the Public Safety era.
I hope this tour of the past has given you some idea of how the Police Department developed. The department in both of its forms has been a very important part of my life and has taught me a great deal. I enjoy talking about it and can probably bore any interested party to slumber in no time. Stop by the Fire Department training room if you would like me to elaborate on the subject. I wish the best of luck to you and hope that you enjoy your career development in Burnsville.
—Michael Cmobma
77_9470_0219_EA_Cedar_Ave_Bridge_1977.jpg
Old Cedar Avenue Bridge 1977218 viewsThe old Cedar Avenue Bridge in 1977 To cross the river from Bloomington, one went over the 5-trestle bridge on Long Meadow Lake, then this one. It could pivot open to let tall river traffic through. It was narrower than the other bridge which has been restored
BHS_Billy_Goat_color_version.jpg
Billy Goat Bridge213 viewsAnother view of Burnsville's classic Billy Goat Bridge.
BHS_Billy_Goat_color.jpg
Billy Goat Bridge207 viewsAnother view of the classic Billy Goat Bridge.
billygoat.jpg
Billy Goat Bridge202 viewsAn early winter photo of Billy Goat Bridge.
billy_6393.JPG
Billy Goat Bridge today201 views2017 - a vehicle drives over the location of Billy Goat Bridge near Judicial Road and Burnsville Parkway.
84_33_5_BU_Billy_Goat_Bridge_1979.jpg
Billy Goat Bridge 1979201 views
77_9470_1211_EA_Cedar_Ave_Bridge.jpg
Cedar Avenue Bridge undated200 viewsAn early photo of the Cedar Avenue Bridge connecting Eagan/Burnsville with Bloomington area through Nicols.
BHS_Billy_Goat_3.jpg
Billy Goat Bridge190 viewsAnother view of Burnsville's classic Billy Goat Bridge.
BHS_Billy_Goat_Bridge_1.jpg
Billy Goat Bridge188 viewsBilly Goat Bridge.
BHS_Billy_Goat_b_and_w.jpg
Billy Goat Bridge186 viewsAnother view of Burnsville's classic historic bridge.
84_33_6_BU_Billy_Goat_Bridge.jpg
Billy Goat Bridge179 viewsA classic black and white photo of Burnsville's wooden bridge.
90_0_16_16_EA_Cedar_bridge_c1935.jpg
Cedar Avenue Bridge 1935168 viewsAn early photo of the Cedar Avenue Bridge in Eagan.
90_0_19_22_BU_Cedar_Ave_bridge_c1980.jpg
Cedar Avenue Bridge 1980168 viewsA Dakota County Tribune newspaper clipping shows a photo of the progress of the new Cedar Avenue Bridge.
Police_Change_with_times.pdf
Police change image with times May 10, 1981166 viewsBy Bill Gardner
Staff Writer
Maybe he should have gotten a haircut, the young man thought as he waited for his first job interview after graduating from college.
It was 1969 and he was a typical college student — liberal, anti-war protester. But there was one big difference. Charles Deutschmann wanted to be a cop.
He wished he’d gotten his hair cut. What would the police chief think?
Then they ushered him in to meet the chief. He was a young man with a beard and a “Make Love, Not War”sign on his wall.
DEUTSCHMANN BREATHED a big sigh of relief. He was home. “I felt like I fit in,”he says now.

PATROLMAN GARY Lidster
first police shooting
This all took place in Burnsville, and Deutschmann is now assistant chief of the Burnsville Police Department. In the past 12 years, though, Deutsch mann has changed a bit. So has the department.

Both are older and more conservative.
In the early 1970s other police departments referred to Burnsville police as “hippie cops,” Deutschmann says. They were different.
For one thing, Burnsville police didn’t wear uniforms. They wore spiffy blue blazers. Their guns and badges were out of sight.
“We didn’t really look like cops,”Deutschmann says.

It was a tough time for police departments all across the country.The Vietnam War was going full blast — and protesters filled the streets and campuses shouting anti-war slogans, anti-government slogans, anti-military slogans and anti-police (“Kill the Pigs!”) slogans.
Meanwhile, the Burnsville police were walking around in blue blazers. It was a new force in those days, set up in 1964. Most of the men were in their early 20s. All were college graduates.

“We were trying to soften the police image,” Deutschmann said. “It wasn’t the 6-foot-3, 250- pound he-man approach. Our recruitment theme was ‘Join the domestic Peace Corps.’”
It was a one-of-a-kind police force. Fact is, it wasn’t strictly a police force — it was a public safety department. Every man on the force was also a fireman. No other Minnesota police force was or is set up like that.

THERE WERE A lot of things about the Burnsville police that rubbed other police officers the wrong way — the blue blazers, the longer hair, the college degrees.
Burnsville cops went out of their way to be different, Deutschmann said. Even the squad cars were different.“We had white cars,”he said.“Theother departments had the old black-and-whites. Our fire trucks were white — theirs were red, you know what I mean."

And Burnsville officers made a lot of money. “In the early ’70s, nobody in the state matched us in salary.”
Naturally all this didn’t sit too well with the rest of the police community and Deutschmann admits the relationship with other departments was “difficult.”
“We were saying ‘We’re No. 1 — we’re better than anyone else and we attempted to export our philosophy to other departments,”Deutschmann said. “We sort of bucked the system a little bit.”

Things have changed.
Today, Burnsville police officers wear uniforms and look just like police anywhere else.

(more)
107773904_4624542707559719_622232339575811844_o.jpg
Old Cedar Avenue Bridge164 viewsPhoto by Greg Utecht. Cedar Avenue bridge crossing the Minnesota River before the current bridge opened in 1980. Photo shot from the new bridge before they tore the original down.

To cross the river from Bloomington, one went over the 5-trestle bridge on Long Meadow Lake, then this one. It could pivot open to let tall river traffic through. It was narrower than the other bridge which has been restored
billy_goat_bridge_1976.pdf
Billy Goat Bridge declared deficient 1976162 viewsJanuary 1, 1976 Dakota County Tribune reports: The possibility exists that Billy Goat Bridge, located in Western Burnsville, may be replaced. The highway department has certified it to be deficient, but indicated funding does not exist for replacement of deficient bridges...
billgoatreplica2.JPG
Billy Goat Bridge replica at Neill Park161 viewsNeill park, the Billy Goat bridge replica photo 2017 by M. P. Kelleher. From a 1991 memo.

October 15, 1991
Ed Kodet
Kodet Architectural Group Ltd 15 Groveland Terrace Minneapolis, MN 55403

Dear Ed,

As we discussed over the phone, the City would like to build a small footbridge in one of our parks that would resemble the historical landmark Billy Goat Bridge, which was torn down several years ago. Our concept is to have the basic support system for the footbridge made out of structural steel and then put on a facade of wood which would capture the essence of Billy Goat Bridge.

I have attached drawings showing what we are proposing. All the structural strength would come from the steel girders. The wooden post headers would be for appearance only. They would be attached to the bridge, but are not intended to be load bearing.

The bridge will be approximately 6 feet wide and would be for foot traffic only. It is not intended for use by cars or
motorcycles. A small utility cart would be the only vehicle which might go over it on a regular basis. Even that could be
eliminated if necessary or appropriate.

The City would like to have a structural engineer look at our design and determine if the structural elements, primarily the steel girders, are sufficient for our purposes. We are not looking for feedback on the aesthetic design, facade or non-load bearing elements.

I would appreciate it if you could have one of your structural engineers take a look at the design for us. If you have any questions or need some more information, please feel free to give me or Dave Grommesch, our landscape technician, a call.
mountain_Star_Tribune_Sun__Jul_18__1920_.jpg
Modern Engineers have Mohamet cheated, no trick to move this moutain on Lyndale Avenue.156 viewsJuly 18, 1920 Minneapolis Tribune:

Corwin B. Waddell, chairman of the roads and bridges committee of the Hennepin County Commissioners, is no Mahomet. But when it comes to moving mountains, he has the Prophet cheated. He is directing the building of the widely discussed Lyndale Avenue Bridge over the Minnesota River...
77_9470_1230_BU_New_Cedar_Bridges.jpg
Cedar Avenue Bridge 1980155 viewsAnother view of the Cedar Avenue bridge.
77_9470_0220_EA_Cedar_Ave_Bridge_1978.jpg
Cedar Avenue Bridge circa 1978154 viewsConstruction of the "new" Cedar Avenue Bridge.
billy_goat_bridge_22.JPG
# J - Historic Map of Burnsville - Buck Hill - Burnhaven Library151 viewsThis is one of the sites included on the historic map of Burnsville, created by the Dakota County Historical Society and displayed at the library - Billy Goat Bridge.
106399467_10219995180323792_3742401921675679794_n.jpg
Meadow Inn150 viewsHere is a pic of the flooded Meadow Inn ...it was just over the old Cedar Bridge on the left side of the road....it later was The Eagles Club....
77_9470_1308_BU_Old_Cedar_Bridge.jpg
Old Cedar Bridge replacement148 viewsPortions of the Cedar Avenue Bridge are removed for the new bridge.

The original Old Cedar Avenue Bridge was built in 1890. The bridge that stands now was built in 1920 and carried automobile traffic into the 1990s. The narrow span continued operation as a bicycle trail until 2002 when it was deemed too unsafe. In 2008, $2 million in state funding was approved to reopen the bridge to bicyclists and pedestrians. Back when the old structure was the main crossing, heavy traffic delays would occur because of the bridge's small size and the need to operate the swing segment to let boat traffic pass. The modern bridge has three lanes in each direction, in addition to a shoulder which is often used by buses to get past traffic slowdowns.
billy_goat_bridge_to_be_replaced_1976.pdf
Billy Goat Bridge will be replaced 1976146 viewsAlthough in 1987 Billy Goat Bridge would be removed, in 1976 the Burnsville City Council began addressing the issue of the old historic bridge. In the December 23, 1976 Dakota County Tribune it is reported: A Burnsville request for $440,000 in state funds to replace Billy Goat Bridge is consistent with regional plans and goals the Metropolitan Council Physical Development Committee said December 16.

Burnsville has asked to replace the bridge with a structure that can handle the estimated 1985 traffic flow on Burnsville Crosstown of 10,000 vehicles per day.
billy_goat_bridge_summer.JPG
Billy Goat Bridge 2017145 viewsAugust, 2017 cars drive on the site of the former Billy Goat Bridge.
billy_goat_bridge_bridging_old_and_new_79.pdf
Billy Goat Bridge - Bridging the old and the new 1979 (4 pages)144 views(In 1987 Billy Goat Bridge would be removed) In 1979 the Burnsville Current tells the history of Burnsville's famous wooden bridge.
77_9470_1209_BU_Cedar_Bridge_1980.jpg
Cedar Avenue Bridge 1980140 viewsAnother view of the Cedar Avenue Bridge.
McDermott_-_Billy_goat_bridge.pdf
McDermott's Billy Goat Bridge137 viewsDakota County Tribune
February 4, 1965
Picturesque Landmark

Remember the story about the "Three Billy Goals Gruff"?
Perhaps the McDermott Bridge, located on the Dan Patch Railway. 1 1/2 miles south of Savage, looks like an illustration for the fairy tale. If we revert to our childhood, maybe one can imagine the mean old troll hiding underneath.

To the older Burnsville residents, it's a landmark of where the John McDermott family once resided. To the newer ones, it's an old wooden bridge with a dangerously raised middle part which can be hazardous when it's icy. We can recall of at least one accident there In the past few months.

The bridge is located Just west of the Jet Plaza Shopping Centre. Bob McDermott of Farmington was once an engineer and fireman on the H & D railroad. He spent his boyhood in that area. Bob said he can't recall much about the bridge except that it was once flatter in the middle. In later years it was raised, no doubt to make more room underneath. Bob said the Dan Patch was formerly another company which featured a red steam engine which made a run from Minneapolis to Rochester.

According to Marty Gallagher, the bridge was built sometime during the construction of the Minneapolis. Northfield. and Southern railway built between 1907 and 1910. The railroad was completed in 1910.

The first name. Marty says, was "McDermott's Bridge," because the John McDermott family farm was right next to It. The name "Billy Goat" was evidently a fairly recent name, due to the fact someone near there raised goats and they grazed nearby.
There Is some disagreement as to the name of the road It connects. Marty says it should be called Crystal Lake Road because it is part of this road which once connected Shakopee and Lakevllle. going around Crystal Lake, and then straight south.

Although most people call it Judicial road or "cemetery" road, Marty says this road "Judicial" doesn't start until the lumber yard and then goes south on the west side of Orchard Lake, and runs along the Scott and Dakota county lines.
Judicial Road, incidentally, got its name, Marty says, be- cause two judges, one from Scott county and one from Dakota
county, mapped out the road.

Crystal Lake road, which goes over the bridge, was according to Marty, the only road to Lakeville before Highway 65 was built. The Crystal Lake Road was quite popular.

It may someday be well traveled again. If what Jim Kelleher of Burnsville says is true. A former member of the planning commission. Kelleher says that Scott County Road 76 which ends about a mile from the bridge, is shortly to be blacktopped, thus attracting much more traffic over it onto 136th street, and then to 35W. This would mean that cars from 76 would have to use the bridge to get to 136, 35W and the Jet Plaza.

Some think the bridge Is very dangerous and says that when It caught fire a few years ago, it wouldn't have been too much loss to burn. But meanwhile, the maintenance department does their best servicing the old landmark.

If any of the old timers have some historical pictures or data about the early days, we'd be pleased hearing from them.
2844 files on 95 page(s) 1