The Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association (MCPA) 2023 Legislative Agenda was developed over a period of several months with input from the state’s police chiefs, law enforcement leaders and stakeholder groups.  Members of the organization’s Legislative Committee, which is made up of public safety professionals from agencies large and small, urban and rural, discussed, vetted and prioritized the agenda. The MCPA Board of Directors approved the 2023 Legislative Agenda on November 17, 2022.

OFFICER WELLNESS
The MCPA supports legislation that was proposed in 2022 which came from a stakeholder group created by the League of Minnesota Cities (LMC). The proposal includes: Normalizing conversations about mental health within local government organizations and their public, Promoting statewide peer support best practices and training programs, Identifying ways to promote cultural behaviors that enhance public safety physical and mental wellness; Educating stakeholders (employers, employees and state and local leaders) about PTSD signs, symptoms, treatment options and outcomes,Gathering empirical evidence related to treatability of mental injuries; Develop human resources guidance that focus on: a)Enhancing relationships between public safety and human resources managers to coordinate and streamline prevention of, and response to, duty disability injuries, b) Implementing best practices and initiatives aimed at improving mental health wellness and preventing and coping with PTSD, c) Providing early intervention/resources for public safety employees who experience work-related trauma; and d) Providing paid time off or light duty for public safety employees who experience work-related trauma.

RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION NEEDS
Agencies across our state are having extreme difficulty recruiting and retaining officers for a variety of reasons. Out of state agencies have even started recruiting Minnesota officers away to Arizona, Nevada, and other states. The MCPA supports a multi-faceted approach to helping agencies of all sizes recruit and retain officers. This should include, but is not limited to, a grant program for bonuses, bringing back part-time officer licensure for small agencies, and scholarship programs with our higher education partners. Any funding for this use should reflect different needs for small, medium, and large agencies alike.

PAID HEALTH INSURANCE FOR L.E. RETIREES
Seek a legislative appropriation that would provide paid health care for licensed police officers who retire at 55 years old and have 10 years of consecutive service with a Minnesota City, County or Tribal government. To help in addressing the recruitment and retention challenges, at age 55 or any time thereafter, each month the Employer shall pay the full Employer contribution toward health and dental insurance coverage for employees who have 10 years of service or more. It shall also cover the employee’s dependents until the employee reaches age 65. The employer shall be reimbursed from the State of Minnesota for these costs.

PERMIT TO PURCHASE FEES
The MCPA supports allowing local municipal police departments to charge a reasonable fee for processing permit to purchase applications and seeks to require Minnesota Permit to Purchase and Permit to Carry application forms include a requirement for the applicant’s race, ethnicity, and social security number. These additional identifying factors are beneficial in confirming the applicant’s identity, especially when there are possible matches with out-of-state criminal history records. Additionally, the legislation should include a requirement for the applicant to submit a copy of their valid Driver License or Minnesota State ID card. The applicants address on this ID and all documents in the permit application process should reflect/match their actual address, city, and zip code of residence.

AUTO THEFT AND VIOLENT CRIME INVESTIGATION FUNDING
With the growing number of auto thefts and an staggering increase in the number of violent crimes committed in possession of a stolen vehicle the legislature should provide funding to create and staff a multijurisdictional group of peace officers who will focus on auth theft investigations and prevention.

STIFFER PENALTIES FOR VIOLENT CRIME COMMITTED WITH A FIREARM
The MCPA supports legislation that would amend state statute to increase penalties for violent felons in possession of firearms and for straw purchases and illegal sales of firearms from licensed gun dealers. This legislation includes mandatory minimum sentences for such violent crimes.

BODY WORN CAMERA REDACTION
The MCPA supports changing current law to allow for greater discretion by the CLEO or her designee to release data without redaction in instances where any member of the public may record the same footage with their own device. Current law allows for CLEO’s to release data to dispel rumors or other information, but we cannot do so without complying with redaction. This will allow the public more transparency, especially in certain high-profile cases.

TRANSPARENCY IN CHARGING ACT
The MCPA supports legislation that would require County Attorney’s to provide data to the legislature about felony level offenses that go uncharged. This is in response to massive violent crime increases at the hands of serious offenders who should have been in jail but were able to commit additional crimes against the public. 

MENTAL HEALTH RESPONSE ACT
The MCPA supports legislation to fund multi-jurisdictional co-responder
programs or Embedded Social Workers. Additionally, the MCPA supports making changes to current policy and practices to better share information amongst first responders, medical professionals, and human servicesrepresentatives. The goal is to improve the response to, and outcomes of, mental health calls for service.

USE OF FORCE TRAINING FOR LEGISLATORS
MCPA supports mandating training for legislators prior to passing any use of force statutory reform laws. The scenario-based training would help legislators better understand the situations officers find themselves in on a daily basis. 

ARBITRATION REVISION ACT
The MCPA supports creating a more objective arbitration process by having the Office of Administrative Hearings handle all police officer termination grievances.
 
OFFICER INTEGRITY ACT
 
The MCPA supports legislation allowing for a Minnesota Licensed Peace Officer to be terminated from public employment without opportunity to challenge the remedy of termination should the basis for termination be willful or intentional dishonesty, deception, or similar unethical or illegal conduct that is deemed sufficient to imperil their credibility in court testimony. The MCPA does not support limiting an officer’s due process right to arbitration.

LAW ENFORCEMENT TRAINING FUNDING
The MCPA supports continuing the POST Board training reimbursement allocation to local agencies, which began in 2018, into perpetuity. The Peace Officer Training Fund is for mandated training in the areas of recognizing and valuing diversity and cultural differences, conflict management and mediation, crisis intervention and mental Illness crises.

CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECKS
The MCPA supports preventing individuals who are legally able to purchase a gun from doing so without background checks at gun shows, online or in private transactions.

EXTREME RISK PROTECTION ORDERS (ERPO)
The MCPA supports allowing law enforcement who believe an individual’s documented dangerous behavior has a substantial likelihood to lead to violence to request an order from a civil court authorizing the temporary removal of any guns in the individual’s possession and the prohibition of any new gun purchases during the duration of the temporary order.

K12 THREAT ASSESSMENTS  
The MCPA supports legislation requiring school districts to establish a team of subject matter experts to examine and address school safety issues and specific threats to the students, staff and community.  This legislation would move our state beyond physical school safety measures, such as infrastructure improvement grants, passed by the Legislature in 2018.

TOBACCO FREE SCHOOLS
The MCPA supports legislation making school property tobacco-free zones and penalizing minors for possessing tobacco products on school grounds.

MENTAL HEALTH RESPONSE ACT
The MCPA supports legislation to fund multi-jurisdictional co-responder
programs and make changes to current policy and practices to better share information amongst first responders, medical professionals and human services representatives. The goal is to improve the response to -and outcomes of - mental health calls for service.

ALLOWING CLEOS ACCESS TO THE NATIONAL CRIMINAL HISTORY DATABASE
The MCPA supports giving chief law enforcement officers the ability to utilize the resources of the National Criminal History database to conduct background investigations for certain business licenses and certain employment background investigations.