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The Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association is launching the Bright Ideas in Policing initiative in June 2019 as a way to highlight some of the best ideas in policing from some of the brightest law enforcement leaders in Minnesota.  Each month we will stream live an interview with a police chief in Minnesota on the MCPA’s twitter feed. We encourage you to follow the feed and re-tweet the content.  Please check out this page monthly to learn more about some of the programs that are working well in agencies large and small, urban and rural, across the state of Minnesota.
Watch the debut program on June 26th

The Wyoming, Minnesota Police Department’s Growth Through Opportunity Cadet Program is this focus of this month’s Bright Ideas in Policing program. The program is designed as a 12-week volunteer program that opens the doors of the Police Department and community to people with intellectual or developmental disabilities. Watch the interview with Wyoming Police Chief Paul Hoppe, who explains the program and how other agencies can replicate it.

 
The Minnesota Legislature adjourned on May 20th without a complete budget deal. Governor Walz, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka and House Speaker Melissa Hortman reached a broad budget deal before adjournment, but many details had not been hammered out. Since then all of the budget bills have been agreed to by the various leaders and lawmakers completed their work in a one-day special sesison.

The Public Safety Conference Committee made little progress negotiating differences during the final weeks of session. Much of the debate centered around 74 policy provisions contained in the House version of the bill that the Senate didn’t have positions on or had never heard in their committee. The Public Safety Budget target was agreed to and heard in an informational committee this week. Key highlights that are in the bill:
  • Police Training Funding: Our proposal for increased training reimbursement will remain at current levels. The Senate unfortunately had proposed cutting this funding but thankfully we were able to ensure that the funding remained. In the next budget cycle these funds will sunset and we will continue to fight to eliminate the sunset ensuring this important funding will continue in perpetuity.The House proposal would have put a sunset on the Pathways to Policing funding. MCPA opposed this change and we were successful in eliminating that sunset in the final budget deal.Additionally, the House bill contained several data collection pieces that MCPA opposed with other law enforcement partners. These mandates were not included in the final budget deal.
  • UAV Policy Language: Both the Senate and House bills contained language regulating the use of drones. MCPA opposed this legislation as it would have required a significantly high bar for use and limited our capacity to use this important technology when necessary. The language was not included in the final budget deal.

  • Forfeiture Reform Task Force: The House spent significant time this year trying to pass legislation that would have eliminated civil asset forfeiture. MCPA and the entire law enforcement coalition opposed this legislation and were able to have the bill amended on the House Floor and replace it with a task force to look at reforming the process. This task force was not included in the budget deal.

  • Cannabis: The Senate killed a bill that would have legalized recreational cannabis earlier in the session. The House spent their time focusing on a taskforce to study what other states have done and reducing thresholds. None of these items were included in the final budget deal.

  • Criminal Background Checks/ERPO: The House passed both Criminal Background Check reforms and allowing law enforcement to petition the courts for an Emergency Risk Protection Order. These bills were supported by MCPA but unfortunately they were not included in the final bills. These bills remain major priorities for the Governor and DFL House.

  • POST Board Funding: One key change that did happen is the funding for the POST board will now come out of the General Fund as opposed to the Special Revenue Account. We will monitor this issue going forward as these funds will compete with all others from the general fund.

  • Criminal Sexual Assault Policy/Task Force: in the wake of the Star Tribune’s denied justice series the legislature has approved legislation to take a further look at how reform might come in the future. This will be done through a task force in the coming year. Additionally, the legislature passed legislation that will require agencies to have a policy in dealing with these cases that is very similar to what POST sent out a few months ago.
 

Civil Asset Forfeiture in the 2019 Legislative Session

During debate in the Minnesota House of Representatives, the A76 amendment was proposed, which establishes a task force to study civil asset forfeiture.  The A76 amendment (click here to read it) is clearly a better option than the current proposal, which destroys the civil asset forfeiture process and prevents law enforcement from being able to hold criminals accountable for certain crimes. 

Civil asset forfeiture is a powerful tool used by police and prosecutors in Minnesota and across the country to break the drug trafficking cycle and deprive the criminals of their ill-gotten gains through seizure of drug money. 

The forfeiture of property used by persons to commit crimes, and the forfeiture of monies and other profits derived from criminal activity has long been recognized by the legislature and criminal justice professionals as a valuable means to enforce the law, deter crime, and reduce economic incentives for persons to engage in criminal activity 

Unfortunately, the current proposal will dismantle civil asset forfeiture, and, in essence, say to sophisticated drug traffickers – come do business here in Minnesota. 

We know this proposal would dramatically and adversely impact the public safety of Minnesotans by making our state a safe-haven for criminals participating in the illegal distribution of drugs and even repeat drunk drivers that take lives, destroy families and wreak havoc on our roadways. 

It’s important to understand that property seized in Minnesota under forfeiture laws, such as drug money and vehicles driven in DWI cases, must be connected to ongoing criminal behavior. 

Current law allows for a person to engage in a simple process and be heard either in conciliation or district court about why the property should not be forfeited. 

 
To find your Minnesota House representative, follow this link: 
 

ETI 2019 Speaker Presentations

From time to time, speakers will reference material they've written and other research while on stage at ETI.  They are also willing to make their slides available.  The material is often available on the session page of the ETI app.  We are also posting material in one spot on the Chief's website.   We will continue to update this page as we receive more material.

Sunday, April 14th

Monday, April 15th

Tuesday, April 16th

Wednesday, April 17th

 

 

C-notes Tuesday April 16

Good morning and welcome to the City Leader Day at ETI 2019 in St. Cloud. Today's conference include a Chiefs Roundtables and a Bola Wrap Demonstration.   The Law Enforcement Expo opens at 11:45.

We will also livestream portions of today's conference via ChiefsCast.  This is a great way for anyone who cannot attend to participate.  They can watch the conference from their desktop, phone or tablet for anywhere in the world.  Register by going to www.mnchiefs.org.


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