The Police department’s backbone in operations is the patrol division, as they provide services to our community 24/7, 365 days a year. The patrol division is comprised of 26 uniformed patrol staff with 22 police officers and four patrol sergeants. The patrol division works 10- or 11.5-hour shifts including day, afternoon, and overnight watch. The patrol division responds to emergent and non-emergent calls for service. The services can range from proactive patrol, calls for service, lifesaving emergencies, and responding to crimes in progress.
The investigations division plays a vital role in the goal of solving crimes in our community. The investigations division includes one sergeant, four detectives assigned to general investigations, one detective assigned to the sex trafficking task force, and one evidence technician. The investigations division investigates a number of different crimes from theft, fraud, assault, criminal sexual conduct, child abuse and others.
Community Service Officers
Community service officers (CSO) provide valuable services to the community and police department. The police department currently has two full-time CSOs. The CSOs are not licensed police officers and do not have police officer authority. The CSOs are uniformed positions wearing light blue uniform shirts. The CSOs perform a number of duties including parks patrol, parking enforcement, animal control, supporting patrol officers, serving the community, and assisting with administrative tasks.
The civilian support staff employees provide valuable support services to our Police department operations. The support staff includes one diversion community resource employee who works closely with our schools, a support services manager, and three records technicians. The support staff serve a variety of tasks ranging from important records management services, data release, gun permits, community engagement, community support, customer service, and police officer support.
The Village of Oakdale hired its first Police officer, Dennis Chamberlin, in 1968. With the start of a new police department, Dennis needed a police uniform so he went to the uniform store in Saint Paul. Dennis found leftover green uniforms from when Saint Paul Police switched from dark green to blue uniforms in the 1960s. Taking advantage of the reduced pricing on the surplus green uniforms, Dennis had to create a patch to incorporate the green. In 1969, the City hired the first Police Chief and had a force of four police officers.
In 1971, the City of Oakdale Police department hired its second Police Chief and had a force of six police officers. The patch was changed, and the uniforms were changed to blue.
In 1988, 20 years after the City was incorporated, the police department was staffed with 17 Police officers. In 2008, the Police department consisted of 33 Police Officers. Currently, the Police Department staff has 42 full time employees, 34 licensed police officer and eight civilian support staff.
The Police Department worked out of the Quonset hut until 1983, at which time they moved into the City Hall. In 1991, the City Hall added a wing for the Police department. The Police department works out of the same building to date
The Original Patch
The original Oakdale Police department uniform patch was first used in 1968. The history of the design of this patch is tied into the first Oakdale Police uniform which was a dark olive / forest green color. The story that was related to me was that in the mid- 1960's the St. Paul Police department changed from a green uniform to a navy blue one. When the Village of Oakdale hired their first full time officer, Dennis Chamberlin, on August 1, 1968 he went to Uniforms Unlimited in downtown St. Paul and purchased a green police uniform because they had a good price on "leftover" St. Paul P.D. uniforms. The green bordered patch was designed to be color coordinated with the green uniform. The green uniform was used for about a year until the department expanded by hiring the first chief, Robert Drowns and three additional officers. That was when the department changed over to navy blue uniforms and the current style patch.
This is the only original patch that is known to exist. The police department's second chief, Ronald Wagner, was cleaning out some "junk" from the storage area of the Quonset hut that housed the Police department in the early 1970's. This patch was rescued from a trash can in the Police department.