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BUFFALO POLICE DEPARTMENT FAQS


Do you have a question about a police topic?  Check the list below for the answer.  If you don’t see the answer to your question here, click on ASK BPD to send an e-mail question to our department!  

1. Is it legal to drive without shoes on?

2. Doesn’t my child need parental consent to drive a car until they are eighteen years old?  What if I want to take that privilege away – what do I do?

3. Where do I get a gun permit?

4. Can you park semi’s in Buffalo?

5. When are officers on duty?

6. I called in a complaint but nobody called me back, why is that?

7. How can I get a copy of a police report or accident report that I filed?

8. Some of my property was stolen and has been recovered by the police, how do I get it back?

9. My car was impounded, what do I have to do to get it back?

10. Who do I call if I have information about a crime?

11. If I have information about a crime, can I report it to the police and still stay anonymous?

12. What is the law about pedestrians trying to cross the street?

ANSWERS TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS  

1. Is it legal to drive without shoes on?
This has been a long-held myth.  The fact is that it is legal to drive without shoes in the State of Minnesota.  Keep in mind that laws can vary from state to state.  

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2. Doesn’t my child need parental consent to drive a car until they are eighteen years old?  What if I want to take that privilege away – what do I do?
In Minnesota a parent can withdraw the driving privileges of a sixteen or seventeen year old.  While the easiest way for a parent to do this is to take the keys away, this will not ensure that the child could not or would not operate a friend’s vehicle.  In order to legally withdraw consent, the parent must complete a form and file it with the Department of Public Safety (DPS You can visit the DPS Web Site through this link).  DPS  

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3. Where do I get a gun permit?
You may obtain a permit to purchase a firearm, through the Buffalo Police Department.  If you would like to apply for a permit to purchase, you should visit the Police Department to obtain an application.  Please stop in or call us to receive the application materials you will need. If you wish to obtain a permit to carry a firearm, you will need to make your application through the Wright County Sheriff's Office at the Courthouse.  

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4. Can you park semi’s in Buffalo?
The answer is Yes and No.  Generally you can park a semi for loading and unloading purposes, but you can’t park a semi in a residential neighborhood.  For additional information on this ordinance, you can visit the following link, Truck Parking.   

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5. When are officers on-duty?
The Buffalo Police Department provides 24-hour service 365 days a year.  However, there is not always an officer inside the police department.  Our office hours are from 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.  If you come to the police department after business hours and there is nobody here, you should contact the Wright County Sheriff’s Communication Center at (763) 682-7600.  They will dispatch a Buffalo Officer to meet with you.  

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6. I called in a complaint but nobody called me back, why is that?
If you call in a general complaint such as speeding, careless driving, suspicion, etc., it is normally presumed that you do not want to be called back.  If you are making a complaint of this nature and you do want to be informed of the outcome or you have information you would like to discuss directly with the officer, you should tell the dispatcher that you want a call from the responding officer.  This will ensure that the officer calls you back.

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7. How can I get a copy of a police report or accident report that I filed?
All requests for copies of police reports must be made in writing.  A request for information release must be completed and submitted.  If it is determined that you are entitled to a copy of the data requested, the data will be collected and prepared for release.  There is an administrative fee for the release of data.  The fees for data release are as follows:
Reports Fees
General Reports $0.25 per page
Accident Reports $0.25 per page
Photos/Statements $1.00/disk and $0.25/image
Driver's License None for Buffalo Residents
Special Rate Occasionally a person will ask for an extensive amount of data that may take a significant amount of time to collect.  When these instances occur, we charge a staff-rate of $25.00 per hour to collect this data.

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8. Some of my property was stolen and has been recovered by the police, how do I get it back?
Items of stolen property are generally considered evidence and are stored in a secure area within the police department.  Only certain individuals within the police department are authorized to enter the secure area to obtain the property to return to be returned.  Once the case has been completed, these items can usually be returned to the owner.  In some cases, property can actually be returned to the owner prior to the criminal case being resolved.  To get your property returned, call the police department and ask to speak with the officer assigned to your case.  The officer will initiate the paperwork with our Property Technician to  make arrangements for the return of your property.  An appointment is necessary with the Property Technician in order for property return.

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9. My car was impounded, what do I have to do to get it back?
The Buffalo Police Department contracts with Junction Towing (763-682-2033).  If your vehicle is not being held as evidence, or for some other reason, you should be able to have it released by contacting the towing company directly.  If the towing company tells you that your car is subject to a hold, you will need to contact the police department to obtain a release form.  You may come directly to the Buffalo Police Department, or if it is outside of our normal business hours, you can contact Wright County Sheriff’s Communication at 763-682-7600 and request that a Buffalo Police Officer meet you at the police department.             

If your vehicle was towed from private property, it is most likely that the police department did not order the impounding.  If the police department was not involved in the towing of your vehicle, you will need to deal directly with the towing agency.  

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10. Who do I call if I have information about a crime?
Any time that you have information about a crime, you can call and speak to an officer of the Buffalo Police Department.  In some cases, you may even be eligible for a cash reward.  Unless the crime is in progress or it is an emergency, the best way to contact an officer is to call our office at (763) 682-5976 during regular business hours, or Wright County Sheriff’s Communication at (763) 682-7600.  

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11. If I have information about a crime, can I report it to the police and still stay anonymous?
If you are a witness to a crime, you can always ask to remain a confidential anonymous source.  Data privacy laws in Minnesota do allow for the identity of a witness to remain confidential.  However, if the case goes to court, it is often necessary for witnesses to testify, and remaining confidential may not be possible. 

While it is possible to remain anonymous, it may mean that we are not able to pursue a criminal case due to lack of evidence or other witnesses.  If you do wish to remain anonymous, make sure to tell the officer or dispatcher about your request.   

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12. What is the law about pedestrians trying to cross the street?  It seems as though nobody is following the rules. 
A new publication from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety has started showing up inside envelopes mailed out with your motor vehicle license tab renewal form.  This new publication states in bold red lettering; STOP IT’S THE LAW, and reminds drivers to “Stop For Pedestrians.” 

The insert also contains the following information:

“A driver must stop when a pedestrian is in a crosswalk.”

“A crosswalk is an intersection from sidewalk to sidewalk – even if no lines are painted on the street.”

“A pedestrian must not enter a crosswalk if a vehicle is approaching.”
IT’S THE LAW!

Failure to obey the crosswalk law is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 90 days in jail, a $700 fine, or both.

Based on my conversations with several pedestrians and motorists in recent months, it appears that there is still some confusion about this law and how it applies to them. 

According to a letter to the editor from Senator Randy Kelly and Representative Michael Paymar, the State of Minnesota currently averages 1400 pedestrian injuries and 50 fatalities on an annual basis.  New legislation passed in the year 2000 was aimed at reducing those numbers.  Unfortunately, in the past, some of the pedestrian crossing legislation has caused confusion among drivers – and even with some pedestrians.  The most recent revision to this law became effective on September 1, 2000.  Minnesota Statute 169.21, subdivision 2, now states:

“ (a) Where traffic-control signals are not in place or in operation, the driver of a vehicle shall stop to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a marked crosswalk or at an intersection with no marked crosswalk.  The driver must remain stopped until the pedestrian has passed the lane in which the vehicle has passed the lane in which the vehicle is stopped.  No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield.” 
Two key pieces of information from the previously mentioned letter to the editor by Senator Kelly and Representative Paymar are worth reprinting.

A driver must stop when a pedestrian is in a crosswalk.  No ifs, ands or buts.  Failing to do so is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 90 days in jail, a $700 fine, or both.  It is important to note that a driver is not required to stop, and should not stop, if the pedestrian is simply on the curb, despite the fact that the pedestrian may be waiting to enter the crosswalk.  It is not our intent to encourage pedestrians to enter a crosswalk when it is not safe to do so.

2.   A pedestrian must not enter a crosswalk if a vehicle is approaching.  There is no defined distance that a pedestrian must abide by before entering the crosswalk, but common sense should prevail.

The simple rules are these – you should only try to cross the road when it is safe to do so; and if you’re driving and someone is trying to cross the road, stop and yield the right of way to that individual until it is safe to proceed.  Following these rules will keep all of us safer in the long run.  If you have any questions about this law feel free to contact our department.
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BUFFALO POLICE DEPARTMENT
215 1st Avenue N.E. 
Buffalo, MN 55313

Chief of Police
Mitchell P. Weinzetl

Emergency: Dial 911

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