Police Department Frequently Asked Questions

In an effort to maintain transparency and open communication with our residents, we welcome the opportunity to answer the questions and concerns of our residents. Below, we answer some of the frequently asked questions. If you have additional questions that aren’t answered here, please email BPDqa@bloomingtonmn.gov or police@bloomingtonmn.gov

It is our privilege and honor to serve this great community. 

General Police Department Questions: Location, hours, divisions

Where is the Bloomington Police Department located?

We are located approximately one-quarter mile west of I-35W on W. 98th St. and Logan Avenue. Our address is 1800 W. Old Shakopee Rd., Bloomington MN 55431. View map.

What are the responsibilities of the Bloomington Police Department's Divisions?

  • Support Services: Coordinates and directs department activities.
  • Patrol Operations: Plans and manages Bloomington's emergency procedures.
  • Investigations: Services for apprehension and prosecution of criminals.
  • Patrol Operations: The uniformed, most visible division of the department.
  • Professional Standards: Trains, reviews complaints and policies, hires.

What are the hours of the Bloomington Police Department?

We are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for those needing police assistance. Our administration hours for picking up copies of reports, gun permit applications or other administrative requests are Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.; we are closed on weekends and holidays.

Does the Police Department offer squad car ride-alongs?

All ride-alongs must be initiated by a police officer and approved by a Patrol Division supervisor or command officer. All riders must be at least 16 years of age. The Chief of Police may authorize a special exemption for younger participants.

Frequently asked questions about police services or reports: vehicle crash reports, police reports, Restraining Orders, lost and found

I was in a motor vehicle crash. Do I need to contact the police?

You need to contact the police department if an injury is involved or if there is public property damaged in the crash. Police do not need to be contacted for minor property damage crashes. However, if you feel that an officer's presence is desirable, please call 911 and explain the situation to the dispatcher.

It is required that you file a report with the State of Minnesota if the total damage between both vehicles exceeds $1,000, or if someone is injured. These report forms are available at any police department and from the Department of Public Safety Web site .

How can I obtain a copy of my Accident/Police Report?

To obtain a copy of a police report or accident report, you will need to fill out this form:

Where can I get a Minnesota State Accident Reporting form?

If you were in a crash (accident) where someone was injured or there was more than $1,000 worth of damage to the vehicles, you will need to fill out a Minnesota Motor Vehicle Crash Report Form, available on the Department of Public Safety website.

The completed form gets mailed to the Department of Public Safety (address on back of form).

How can I get a background check done on myself?

Bloomington Police can do a local record check (Bloomington Police records only) and provide you with a written document containing the results of the search. Cost is $10 and the document is certified.

If you need a FULL criminal background check, you will need to contact the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA): 1430 Maryland Ave E, St. Paul  MN  55106; PH: 651-793-2400; BCA Web site.

How can I obtain my Minnesota driving record?

The State of Minnesota can provide a copy of your driving record. Contact the main Division of Vehicle Services in St. Paul at 651-296-6911 for more information.

The Bloomington Motor Vehicle Office is unable to provide driving records.

I would like to report a non-violent crime with no suspects or witnesses.

You can contact us at our non-emergency number at 952-563-4900 or you can call the Crime Line at 952-563-4674 and leave your information on the voicemail. Someone will call you back within 24 hours and take a report from you over the phone. Please note that the Crime Line should be used for NON-EMERGENCY reports. For example, damage to a mailbox, theft of bike, etc.

Note: We are unable to take hit and run, identity theft, financial transaction fraud or check forgery reports over the phone. You may come into the police department for these types of reports or call our non-emergency number to have an officer dispatched to your location.

I have been a victim of identity theft. What do I do?

Contact the following credit bureaus:

If you are a resident of Bloomington and are a victim of Identity Theft, call the non-emergency number at 952-563-4900 to have an officer dispatched to take a police report or stop into the police department to file the report. You should bring in any paperwork or evidence you have regarding the identity theft.

For further information regarding identity theft, visit the following links:

How do I obtain a restraining order or an order for protection?

The police department does not provide restraining orders. You must go to the Hennepin County courthouse for this. Once the restraining order has been issued, the order must be served before it is considered to be in effect. At that point, if the order is violated, the police can act upon it.

If you need an order for protection or restraining order regarding a domestic issue, you may contact Cornerstone at 952-884-0376 for further information or the Hennepin County Domestic Abuse Hotline at 612-348-5073.

I lost my cell phone and my cell phone carrier says I need a police report in order to get reimbursed for my phone.

The Bloomington Police cannot write a police report on lost property, due to the fact that it is not a crime. However, we are able to provide an "incident number," which shows that you contacted us and we documented that you lost your phone. You can get this information by leaving a message on our Crime Line at 952-563-4674.

How do I obtain a permit to acquire a firearm?

You can download the application from the Department of Public Safety website, fill it out and turn it into the Police Department. (You must bring ID to show that you are the applicant.) You can also fill out an application at the police department.

  • You must reside in the city of Bloomington.
  • Allow seven to 10 business days to process the application. If you are approved, the gun permit will be mailed to you. If you are not approved, the detective who processed your application will contact you to explain the reason for denial.
  • A permit to acquire is valid for one year. Each year you must come in and renew your permit if you want to purchase additional firearms. You do not need to renew your permit to continue to own current firearms.

How do I obtain a permit to carry a firearm?

Permits to carry a firearm are processed at the county level. If you live in Hennepin County, visit the Hennepin County Sherriff's website or call 612-348-3755.

I have lost my citation; how can I pay my fine?

We do not accept payments for citations. You must contact the Hennepin County Division IV Courthouse at 612-543-0401. They can assist you with looking up your citation information. You have the option of paying the fine over the phone with a credit card.

I lost something and want to know if it was turned into the police department or I want to see if I can retrieve my confiscated property. Who do I contact?

Any property turned in gets inventoried into our property and evidence room. You can call 952-563-8843 to see if we have your property. Confiscated property is also located in our property/evidence room. To retrieve your property, you must make an appointment with the property clerk before coming to the police department.

Does the Police Department hold auctions for unclaimed property?

The Bloomington Police Department auctions surplus, found, stolen, abandoned/unclaimed and seized items through an online auction company called www.PropertyRoom.com PropertyRoom.com holds auctions on an ongoing basis and potential buyers can access the site 24 hours a day, seven day a week. Auction items may include bicycles, electronics, jewelry, sporting or musical equipment, clothing, tools and collector items. To view items currently at auction from the Bloomington Police Department, click here. The City of Bloomington makes no guarantee or warranty, expressed or implied, as to the condition of the items offered.

If the Bloomington Police towed my car, where would it be?

The Bloomington Police Department uses Chief's Towing for all of its tows. Their contact information: 8610 Harriet Ave. S., Bloomington. PH: 952-888-2201.

I locked my keys in my car. Will the police respond to open my vehicle for me?

The Bloomington Police Department will respond to vehicle lock-outs only if it is an emergency (if a child or animal is locked in the vehicle).

What are Bloomington's curfew hours for juveniles?

Under 12 years of age:
Sunday - Thursday: 9 p.m.
Friday - Saturday: 10 p.m.

12-14 years of age:
Sunday - Thursday: 10 p.m.
Friday - Saturday: 11 p.m.

15-17 years of age:
Sunday - Thursday: 11 p.m.
Friday - Saturday: Midnight

Does the Bloomington Police Department provide fingerprinting services?

We do not provide fingerprinting services to the public. Please refer to the phone book under "Security" or "Fingerprinting" for private companies that provide this service.

I would like my child seat to be inspected to make sure it was installed properly. Does the Bloomington Police Department have someone certified to do this?

The Police Department (952-563-4900 or police@BloomingtonMN.gov) and the Public Health Division (952-563-8900 V/TTY) have staff who are trained to check car seats. If interested, contact these departments to make an appointment.

In addition, you can go to seatcheck.org for locations of certified individuals or the Department of Public Safety website.

Police Polices and Procedures: Hiring and Training, Officer Wellness and Professionalism, Community Engagement, Budget Questions

Hiring and Training

  1. How are BPD officers recruited and hired?
    • Applicants are interviewed by a series of panels consisting of current patrol officers, supervisors, human resource staff, and civilians, which may include members of our Multicultural Advisory Committee
    • We conduct extensive background investigations and a detailed psychological exam on all of our recruits, which helps us eliminate candidates who may have specific prejudices or inclinations to discriminate.
    • One of the primary skills we look for when recruiting and hiring police officers is a person’s ability to talk with people. The vast majority of modern police work requires the ability to communicate clearly and effectively, and we emphasize that communication is the foundation necessary to de-escalate all tense situations.
    • Recruiting takes place at the local Technical Colleges that offer Law Enforcement programs.
    • Bloomington Police Department is one of the founders of the Pathways to Policing program, which provides education and training for non-traditional police officer candidates.
  2. Are the officers in the Bloomington Police Department thoroughly vetted to ensure that they do not have a history of abuse, racism, xenophobia, homophobia / transphobia, or discrimination?
    • We conduct extensive background investigations and a detailed psychological exam on all of our recruits, which helps us eliminate candidates who may have specific prejudices or inclinations to discriminate.
  3. How are Bloomington Police Department officers trained?
    • Once hired, officers attend a six-week training academy, even if they come from other agencies. The academy includes training on implicit bias, procedural justice, use of force, de-escalation, firearms, and a variety of other topics.
  4. What is included in BPD’s field training program?
    • Once a new officer successfully completes the training academy, they participate in a four-month field training program, where they shadow various field training officers on different shifts who are tasked with preparing new officers for independent patrol work. Our command unit works closely with street patrol supervisors, and both Day and Night Patrol Divisions have a commander in place who monitors work conditions and behavior. This framework helps us identify potential bad behavior and intervene before negative incidents may occur.
  5. Are BPD officers trained on use of force, de-escalation and conflict resolution?
    • Yes, our defensive tactics training starts with de-escalation training, and our policy emphasizes the sanctity of life. Our arrest philosophy is to use only the amount of force necessary, to be quick, decisive, and efficient with the arrest, and to allow the person to quickly recover and to render aid if needed.
  6. Are BPD officers trained on implicit bias?
    • Yes, officers participate in annual training on implicit bias and procedural justice. This training is also offered during our recruit academy, for all new officers
  7. How are field training officers (FTOs) selected?
    • Only officers that are competent in every aspect of their duties are chosen as FTOs. They must have a broad base of general knowledge and a personality compatible with adult learning.
    • Officers interested in becoming field trainers for new recruits submit a memo of interest to the Commander and Sergeant of the FTO program, detailing their experience and training
    • Memos are peer reviewed, and depending on the number of applicants and current openings, an interview process may be possible
    • The Commander and Sergeant of the FTO program make selections based applicants’ experience and training, and those officers selected are sent to an FTO school certified by the POST board
    • Throughout their role as an FTO, these officers are monitored by the FTO Commander and Sergeant, to ensure they maintain an acceptable level of teaching proficiency and training
  8. Are the officers in the Bloomington Police Department required to exhaust every other possible option before using force?
    • Officers can’t always exhaust every option, as their tactics are driven by the behavior of the individual. However, the first substantive portion of our policy requires Threat Mitigation and De-escalation: “Whenever reasonably feasible, according to BPD policies and training, officers should attempt to use de-escalation tactics to gain voluntary compliance and seek to avoid or minimize use of physical force.”
  9. Are the officers in the Bloomington Police Department required to give a verbal warning to civilians before drawing their weapon or using force?
    • Officers are expected to try to deescalate an incident any time it is practical, and typically give verbal commands throughout the encounter.
  10. Are the officers in the Bloomington Police Department trained to perform and seek necessary medical action after using force?
    • Yes. All of the officers are trained First Responders, and rendering aid is trained regularly.

Policies and Procedures

  1. Is there a clear and enforced use-of-force continuum that details what weapons and force are acceptable in a wide variety of civilian-police interactions?
    • BPD’s use of force policy used to be based on a continuum, but recent Supreme Court rulings determined that a continuum-style policy was not appropriate in every situation officers encountered. Instead, BPD’s Response to Aggression and Resistance Policy mandates reasonableness, the legal standard used in the Graham v. Connor Supreme Court ruling.
  2. Are the police officers in the Bloomington Police Department required to intervene if they witness another officer using excessive force? Will officers be reprimanded if they fail to intervene?
    • Yes, BPD officers are trained to intervene if they witness another officer using excessive force. This is a core expectation of all officers, and officers are trained on how to do this. BPD officers have always been expected to intercede if they witness another officer not following department policy, and an officer’s duty to intercede is outlined on BPD’s Response to Aggression and Resistance Policy. Officers who fail to intercede if they witness another officer using excessive force will be reprimanded.
  3. Is there a BPD policy prohibiting chokeholds?
    • Per state statute, BPD policy prohibits choke holds and neck restraints except where deadly force is necessary.
  4. Are BPD officers forbidden from transporting civilians in uncomfortable positions, such as face down in a vehicle?
    • We prefer that people ride sitting up with their hands cuffed behind their back. On occasion, they refuse to sit correctly and are transported laying down. State statute prohibits tying a person’s hands and feet behind them.
  5. Are the police officers in the Bloomington Police Department forbidden from shooting at moving vehicles?
    • No, they aren’t. This question is more complicated than it appears. Our officers are trained to not place themselves in the escape route of a vehicle, creating their own peril which might then require deadly force. However, if the driver or a passenger is doing some action that requires deadly force to stop—for example, driving a moving vehicle into a crowd of people—they may have to.
  6. Are the officers in the Bloomington Police Department required to report each time they threaten to or use force on civilians?
    • They aren’t required to report the threatened use, although it would be documented on their body camera. They are required to report any actual use of force.
    • Every use of force report is sent to the officer’s immediate supervisor, as well as all use of force instructors and the Commander of Professional Standards. These reports are reviewed and tracked, to monitor any inconsistencies with following policy, as well as any needs for coaching, training or intervention.

Officer Wellness and Professionalism

  1. How many complaints does an officer have to receive before they are reprimanded or terminated?
    • There is not a set number of complaints required for an officer to be reprimanded or terminated. The repercussions for a complaint vary depending on the seriousness of the offense, and the work history and intent of the officer. Minor infractions may result in a documented coaching session, while serious infractions could result in immediate termination.
  2. Is there an early intervention system enforced to correct officers who use excessive force?
    • The BPD utilizes a software program called Guardian Tracker to monitor officer training, accomplishments, and accolades as well as coaching sessions, use of force and discipline. This program is used by supervisors to track any indicators in an officer’s performance that may identify a need for coaching, training or intervention.
  3. Are officers provided with mental health resources for themselves?
    • We use Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) debriefs for every officer involved in a critical incident. These debriefs are also made available to all department staff who may have been impacted by an incident, including dispatch and other civilian staff, as well as the partners and significant others of our officers.
    • At our monthly sergeant’s meetings, we debrief high-risk calls with a critical audience and amend training or procedures as needed.
    • BPD recently implemented a new employee tracking software that functions as an early warning detection system, so supervisors are able to monitor officer behavior and intervene before behaviors becomes more problematic.
    • We are in the process of adopting a Wellness Program which will incorporate an annual “Checkup from the Neck Up.” This checkup will be required for all officers, and will include a meeting with a licensed police therapist who will assess an officer’s mental wellness, and the impact that job stress may have on their behaviors.
  4. How do we measure performance for Bloomington police officers? Which performance metrics do we use?”
    • Performance evaluations for all BPD officers occur on an annual basis. These evaluations assess, among other things, an officer’s attitude, communication, leadership, job quality, and community engagement. In addition, all officers are required to meet monthly with their direct supervisor, to address any performance issues and ensure coaching and training are available to officers who may need these resources. Annual performance evaluation link.

Deadly Force Encounters

  1. What steps has BPD taken to reduce deadly force encounters with our residents?
    • The Department of Public Safety just concluded the Police-Involved Deadly Force Encounter working group that met over the last 12 months. Their report was issued in February, but due to COVID-19 there has not been much action on it. Here in Bloomington, however, we have already adopted many of the recommendations put forward in the report. This includes:
      • Increasing our training hours on de-escalation, to where many of the sworn officers have either been through a 40-hour Crisis Intervention Tactics de-escalation course, or are on a list for completion of this training;
      • Mandating annual racial equity training for all sworn officers;
      • Utilizing the Multicultural Advisory Committee as a consulting body;
      • Implementing Pathways to Policing to hire nontraditional police candidates;
      • Implementing Vitals, an app to notify officers of individuals with disabilities and/or COVID-19;
      • Equipping officers with tourniquets and First Responder certification;
      • Using Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) debriefs for every officer involved in a critical incident, with a separate CISM debrief for their significant others; 
      • Implementing the Joint Community Police Partnership Program, including an embedded community liaison;
      • Implementing an embedded social worker program;
      • Implementing a body-worn camera program that may be used to identify training needs to improve officer performance through proactive coaching and mentoring; and
      • Updating our Response to Resistance (Use of Force) policy and other related matters.

Community Engagement

  1. What is BPD currently doing to build police-community relations?
    • BPD’s Crime Prevention Unit consists of three sworn officers and three civilian staff, and includes a community liaison and social worker. These staff are tasked with proactively building community partnerships with residents throughout our community
    • BPD is a member of Hennepin County’s Joint Community Police Partnership program, which focuses on building police-community relations, particular within our immigrant, refugee and vulnerable communities.
    • BPD meets monthly with our Multicultural Advisory Committee, to discuss issues of concern among our multiethnic residents, and solicit their feedback on the Department’s polices and work.
    • Monthly, we hold Community Conversations with the Police Chief, where any resident who wants to attend and discuss current events in policing is welcome.
    • BPD hosts monthly “Coffee with a Cop” events, which provide community members and officers a chance to socialize with no agenda, and in a non-enforcement setting
    • Annually, BPD hosts Safe Summer Nights event, a community cookout where residents come together to share a meal, play games, and socialize with their officers
    • Annually, BPD conducts a Citizen Police Academy annually for over 20 years, where 30 residents at a time meet weekly for 10 weeks and learn about every aspect of the police department.
    • BPD has a robust Neighborhood Watch Program, consisting of more than 430 block watch groups, and over 725 block captains. Our Neighborhood Watch Groups host yearly National Night Out parties. In 2019, this included 385 parties in Bloomington
  2. Are officers required to participate in community engagement activities?
    • Yes, all BPD officers are expected to proactively find ways to engage with the community in a non-enforcement setting. This is emphasized regularly, as well as in our training academy, to ensure new officers understand this is an expectation and not an option
    • We have added a section on community engagement in every officer’s performance evaluation that measures how well individual officers are engaging with the community, making this an expectation for all our officers.

Multicultural Advisory Committee

  1. What is the Multicultural Advisory Committee (MAC)?
    • The MAC is organized by and is a component of the Hennepin County Joint Community Police Partnership, and has been a part of BPD since 2013. The MAC is a volunteer committee, and we try to make sure it is representative of our various communities within Bloomington.
  2. What is the MAC’s role with the police department?
    • MAC members are considered police department advisors. Each MAC meeting includes a presentation from a division within the police department, and MAC members can provide feedback on programs and operations. MAC members have also provided feedback on policies including use of force, body cameras, and crisis intervention response teams. This feedback is used as a lens into how the community may interpret police work, and their recommendations are taken into consideration when revising old or drafting new policies. MAC members have also participated in police officer interview panels, and help the police department develop programming that aims at enhancing police-community relations.
  3. What are the demographics of the multicultural committee?
    • The MAC is a volunteer committee, and we try to make sure it is representative of our various communities within Bloomington. Currently, we have representation from the African American, West African, Somali, Latino, and LGBT communities. We also have strategic partners represented on our MAC, including Bloomington School District, houses of worship, and organizations that work on human trafficking and domestic violence advocacy and prevention.
  4. What is the experience both real-world, and professional, brought to the table by the persons involved on this committee?
    • MAC members have a myriad of experiences, both personal and professional, and all are considered leaders in their particular communities.
  5. Is the Bloomington Police Department actually open to making changes the committee recommends?
    • MAC members are members of our larger Bloomington community, and consistently provide input on how the police department can improve relations particularly with our multiethnic communities, communities of color, and other under-represented communities. Their suggestions and feedback have led to shifts in various BPD policies and procedures. This includes modifying our process for traffic stops, and allowing residents to present a passport, Consulate ID or other official government ID to identify themselves, if they do not have a valid driver’s license. This removes the need to fingerprint someone to verify his or her identity.

Bloomington Police Department Budget

How is the budget for police department set?

  • The police department budget comes from the City of Bloomington’s general fund, which is set by city council and assessed on a yearly basis. The general fund is funded by a property tax levy. The funding process for the BPD is the same as the budget process for all city departments. Individual department requests are analyzed internally with the Finance Department and then with the City Manager and the Executive Leadership Team. City Council then reviews and approves the final budget. The police department’s budget is based, in part, on the number of calls for service we receive, and any changes in population size. Currently, the Bloomington Police Department is authorized to have 123 sworn officers, plus one additional grant-funded position focused on DWI enforcement, for a total authorized sworn strength of 124 officers. We are also authorized for 35 non-sworn staff members, who focus on work such as records and data management, 911 dispatch, crime prevention, animal control, and a variety of other tasks.

What if I still have questions? Who do I contact?

If you still have questions, you can contact:

Non-emergency number: 952-563-4900

bpdqa@bloomingtonmn.gov or police@bloomingtonmn.gov