Recently, a number of individuals I respect, admire and look up to, gathered for over 3 hours to talk about what we could do to be a part of the solution in the debate over needed reforms in law enforcement in Minnesota.
We looked at other’s proposals and discussed them. We agreed there were many good ideas and that we didn’t need to invent new ones, but to find ones that we believed had the best chance of passing the current Minnesota Special Session.
At the end of our meeting, and after several days of work we agreed to the following document that we have been sharing with State Legislator in our area, as well as those in leadership positions in the Minnesota Legislature.
Are you struggling to find a concrete thing you can do to make a difference?
Here’s your chance. Feel free to copy and paste this document and email it to your State Legislator and ask him or her to act now to support important reform initiatives before the Special Session is done.
If you don’t know your legislator, go find him or her at: https://www.gis.leg.mn/iMaps/districts/
An historic opportunity exists to increase transparency, accountability, and professional development for our peace and police officers in Minnesota and by doing so increase public trust in law enforcement for all Minnesotans.
Minnesota has an historic opportunity to elevate and enhance the confidence of all Minnesotans in their public safety professionals
In doing so it can recognize that the actions of law enforcement professionals who violate their Oath of Office do not only bring dishonor to their profession, but diminishes the confidence communities of color and immigrant communities have in law enforcement agencies.
The vast majority of law enforcement officers are dedicated public servants who are asked to do an increasingly complex and emotionally challenging job and most do their daily work with integrity and compassion.
We believe there are many important reforms that must be considered and acted upon.
We also believe that any reform proposals cannot be unfunded mandates but have the financial commitment from local, state, and federal entities to be successful.
Our personal commitment is to work with anyone focused on getting reform legislation passed in the Minnesota State Legislature and signed into law by the Governor.
Doing nothing is not acceptable. Future generations of Minnesotans will hold us accountable for the choices we make in this moment.
Both political parties have an obligation to work in a spirit of compromise and pass meaningful and systemic reforms during the current Special Session.
Both political parties have an obligation to continue this work into the next regular session and beyond.
All Minnesotans have an obligation and responsibility to hold their elected officials accountable for what they do to be a part of the solution as well as what they do to continue to be a part of the problem.
The work we do today will make a difference in the lives of all Minnesotans tomorrow.
The first step to bringing Minnesota together is for Minnesota to work together.
Encourage all police agencies to adopt use-of-force policies that make sanctity of life a core organizational value.
- Require law enforcement agencies to implement an Early Intervention Program (EIP) for officers and dispatchers that is designed to identify problem behaviors at the earliest possible stage so that intervention and support can be offered in an appropriate manner.
- Expand resources and increase statewide awareness of existing resources, to improve the mental health and wellness of first responders and dispatchers.
- Require law enforcement agencies to adopt data practices that promote transparency, openness, and accountability. This includes collecting, analyzing, and publishing data about the nature of police-community interactions, use of force, and police-involved deadly force encounters
- Create an independent and specialized investigation unit within the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) with the authority to investigate all officer-involved shootings and uses of force that result in death or severe bodily injury.
- Work with the Attorney General and the Minnesota County Attorneys Association to enable the Attorney General’s Office to be supportive and engaged around deadly-force encounters in terms of expertise, resources, conflicts, jurisdiction, or other issues.
- Direct the Department of Public Safety to work with law enforcement associations, police unions, local officials, and community leaders to promote more effective models of community policing.
- Increase state-provided law enforcement training funding where appropriate. • Increase police training on interactions with African Americans and people of color and immigrant communities who arrived in America from all over the world.
- Increase police training on interactions with people with disabilities, and people experiencing a mental-health crisis during interactions with law enforcement.
- Explore the non-disciplinary use of body camera video and simulator scenarios to identify training to improve officer performance through proactive coaching/mentoring and training in de-escalation tactics.
- Encourage local law enforcement agencies to work with community partners to engage them in the standards, expectations and recruitment of officers that know their local communities and increase the diversity of their workforce.
- Ensure that all law enforcement agencies are trained in de-escalation tactics and skills in order to reduce use-of-force, especially when responding to persons in crisis.
- Repeal the state law that mandates binding arbitration for law enforcement officers accused of misconduct.
- Change laws governing collective bargaining agreements that impede discipline of officers who seriously betray the public trust.
- Enhance screening to prevent unacceptable applicants for positions in law enforcement from being hired and ensure clear and enforced guidelines that define acceptable and unacceptable behavior and policing tactics.
- Require the POST Board to adopt a Duty to Intercede model policy to be distributed to all Chief Law Enforcement Officers, and to empower them to ensure compliance with a model policy.
- Provide necessary funding to ensure that 100% of all Minnesota law enforcement officers are equipped with body cameras
- Strengthen the power and authority and responsibility of the Minnesota POST Board to strip officers of their license when they commit acts in violation of their Oath of Office.