Governor Mark Dayton Establishes Governor’s Council on Law Enforcement and Community Relations

Council will identify strategies to improve relations between Minnesota communities and law enforcement officers, review best practices, and recommend specific reforms

The council, established by Executive Order 16-09, will provide its preliminary recommendations to Governor Dayton and the Minnesota Legislature by February 15, 2017

ST. PAUL, MN – Governor Mark Dayton today issued Executive Order 16-09, establishing the Governor’s Council on Law Enforcement and Community Relations. The council will be co-chaired by Fourth District Judge Pamela G. Alexander and Grand Rapids Police Chief Scott Johnson, and is charged with developing recommendations to build trust and cooperation between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve, thereby creating a safer and more harmonious Minnesota.

“It is essential that Minnesota’s law enforcement and criminal justice systems work for all Minnesotans, including both our law enforcement officers and the communities they bravely serve,” said Governor Mark Dayton. “This Council is an important first step to ensuring greater trust, safety, and justice for all Minnesotans. I look forward to receiving the Council’s recommendations.”

The Council will be charged with making independent policy recommendations to improve the relationship between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve, support the adoption of best practices in community and law enforcement relations, and expand access to law enforcement training programs. The council’s preliminary recommendations are due to Governor Dayton and the Minnesota Legislature by February 15, 2017, with their final report due by June 30, 2017.

“In order to build a stronger Minnesota, the police should reflect and be responsive to the cultural, racial, and gender diversity of the communities they serve,” said Fourth District Judge Pamela G. Alexander, Council Co-Chair. “This will require engagement with the community to come up with policies and procedures that embrace the uniqueness of each community and engage in rigorous training to build trust. Training should include implicit bias, procedural justice, relationship based policing, community interaction, crisis intervention, and more. Only through mutual trust, respect, and an open mind can we create a harmonious Minnesota.”

“Policing is not done in a vacuum or apart from the community. Policing depends upon a foundation of collaboration and trust between the police and neighborhood residents,” said Grand Rapids Police Chief Scott Johnson, Council Co-Chair. “Our hope is that the members of this Council will be able to provide residents and police officers with practical ways that relationships and trust between the police and communities can be strengthened.”

In addition to the co-chairs, the Governor’s Council on Law Enforcement and Community Relations will have 15 other voting members and 17 ex-officio members, together representing communities of color, law enforcement officers, the legal community, faith organizations, young people, local governments, the families of Jamar Clark and Philando Castile, and the Minnesota Legislative and Executive branches, among others.

Governor’s Council on Law Enforcement and Community Relations
The Governor’s Council on Law Enforcement and Community Relations will have the following duties:

• Advise the Governor, Legislators, and other policy makers and stakeholders about the immediate actions, which can be taken in Minnesota to create and restore trust between communities and their law enforcement agencies, so that all community members are invested in maintaining public safety in an atmosphere of mutual respect;

• Focus on law enforcement – community relations through a lens of procedural and social justice that may impact areas, including, but not limited to: sentencing reform; prosecutorial discretion; law enforcement workforce; law enforcement recruiting and retention; law enforcement training; and community health and wellness;

• Identify, publish, and promote information about the implementation of the best practices in community and law enforcement relations; and also facilitate information sharing among local, state, and federal departments and jurisdictions;

• Identify, publish, and promote information about the resources needed for statewide access to training and officer safety;

• Identify, publish, and promote information about how communities and law enforcement agencies can positively engage each other; and

• Design and implement specific policy proposals and actions that can be taken by the executive and legislative branches of state government to enhance law enforcement and community safety.

The Council will include the following 15 voting members:

• One representative from Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association;
• One representative from the Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST);
• One representative from the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association;
• One representative from the Minnesota Sheriffs’ Association;
• One representative from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety;
• One representative from the National Black, Latino, Asian, and Somali Police Officers Associations;
• One representative from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (State of Minnesota);
• One representative from Minnesota Tribal Nations;
• One representative from LatinoLEAD;
• One representative from the Black Ministerial Alliance;
• One representative from the Council on American-Islamic Relations;
• One representative from ISAIAH;
• One representative from Black Lives Matter;
• One representative from the Minnesota County Attorneys Association; and
• One representative from the Minnesota Youth Council.

The Council will include the following 17 ex-officio members:

• One representative from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety;
• One representative from the Office of Governor Mark Dayton and Lt. Governor Tina Smith;
• One representative from the Minnesota Department of Human Rights;
• One representative from the family of Jamar Clark;
• One representative from the family of Philando Castile;
• One Member of the Majority Party in the Minnesota Senate;
• One Member of the Minority Party in the Minnesota Senate;
• One Member of the Majority Party in the Minnesota House of Representatives;
• One Member of the Minority Party in the Minnesota House of Representatives;
• One representative from the National Baptist Convention (Minnesota);
• One representative from the Coalition of Asian American Leaders;
• One representative from the Minnesota Council of Non-Profits;
• One representative from the League of Minnesota Cities;
• One representative from the Minnesota Community Foundation;
• One representative from the Minnesota Council on Foundations;
• One representative from the Association of Minnesota Counties; and
• One representative from Law Enforcement Labor Services of Minnesota.