MCPA renews calls for Major Police Reform Measures
Statement by MCPA Executive Director Andy Skoogman

The Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association (MCPA) has long been a strong advocate of several key police reform measures currently being proposed locally and nationally and will continue to be a loud voice for meaningful changes to the profession.

Following the brutal death of George Floyd that horrified, saddened and appalled our members, we are committed to working with lawmakers, community groups and stakeholders to reform policing practices. We must make real changes to ensure that officers receive the training necessary to prevent biased policing and inappropriate use of force and are held accountable when they happen. 

When state lawmakers convene for a special session, we urge them to pass the reforms below. Our organization has fought for many of these recommendations, some of which are derived from a February 2020 report by the state’s Working Group on Police-Involved Deadly Force Encounters.

The Working Group, comprised of law enforcement, mental health experts and community leaders, spent nine months conducting hearings and taking testimony from the public. It was co-chaired by Attorney General Keith Ellison and Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington.The Working Group’s report should serve as a roadmap going forward.

Recommendations

Change laws governing collective bargaining agreements that impede discipline of officers who seriously betray the public trust

Empower the Police Officers Standards and Training (POST) Board, at the request of a chief or sheriff, to review and revoke the professional license of an officer who shows a pattern of failing to follow public policy

Encourage all police agencies to adopt use-of-force policies that make sanctity of life a core organizational value

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

Assist 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 a non-disciplinary 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

Ensure that all law enforcement agencies are trained in cultural competency, implicit bias, de-escalation tactics and skills in order to reduce use-of-force, especially when responding to persons in crisis.

About the MCPA

The Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association (MCPA) is a non-profit professional member organization whose mission is to provide the highest quality of police services and leadership to the people of Minnesota. The vision is to be the recognized voice for professional law enforcement in Minnesota. The MCPA represents approximately 500 police chiefs and command staff at municipal and state law enforcement agencies across Minnesota. For more, visit www.mnchiefs.org.