PDF version of the minutes located here.
President LeDoux called the April 5th, 2022, meeting to order at 0805 hours.
Present were President LeDoux, Vice President Beasley, North Weinrich, Secretary Harjes, 2100 Bormann, 2200 Dellwo, 2300 Larsen, 2400 Cederstrom, 2500 Hanson, 2600 Lund (Alternate), 2700 McGrew, 2800 Johnson, 2900 Hanson, 3100 Pearson, 3200 Danielson, and Business Manager Baker.
Absent – South Theel and Treasurer Orpen
Motion to accept the January 2022 minutes: Motion by 2900, Seconded by 2100: CARRIED
0930: Colonel Langer arrived at 1000.
Hopeful we can get to a deal on the MLEA contract. We still have a long way to go.
We’ve made a little bit of progress on improving the Internal Affairs timelines. We aim for having bi-weekly meetings to update everyone on the progress on them. There is a position in the pipeline to offload the ADA responsibilities from Lynn’s desk.
We have the mandatory media relationship (2 hours) and data practices (2 hours) training coming up. TDS was asked to spread those sessions out around the state instead of having it all at a central location.
Smartphones and Axon Capture are being tested right now with a small test group. Smartphone deployment will move along quickly once equipment is ready. There is talk about expanding the requirement of when to take photos at crashes as well.
The body worn camera deployment has been going very well. Statewide training and deployment will be wrapping up next month.
Final weapon light testing is occurring this week. Hopefully we can move quickly once we have a clear recommendation. The goal would be to issue them out during fall CIST.
2000 Follow-up: I would suggest that Troopers have options with the light as they vary in functionality depending on the size of a person’s hand.
Vice President: One light worked well for me, but another Trooper’s fingers weren’t long enough to turn on that same light.
CHQ follow-up: No. I’ll wait for the final recommendation from the experts. I am still very nervous about unintentional discharges once we move to a weapon light.
Recruitment continues to be a challenge. The traditional applicant numbers were OK around 114. The LETO numbers weren’t as high as we had hoped for at 138. The recruitment discussion from earlier this year was very fruitful.
Legislative front is very busy. There’s money being talked about for a replacement aircraft, but it has support in the Senate and no support in the House. We’ll keep tracking where things are going. Like most legislative sessions, it will probably come down to the final days before anything major is solved during the session. If nothing happens this session, there will be no shutdowns, it will just sit there until next legislative session.
HEAT is fantastic. The Troopers that have jumped on HEAT have done a fantastic job. Hopefully we are finding the right balance between these HEAT patrols and balancing other things. We need to be sure we’re doing what we saying we are going to do with these events which is speed enforcement. I’ll defend the other stops, but we need to focus on speed.
With Project 20(22), we’re aiming for increasing the public presence of the State Patrol around the state in specific areas at certain times.
Fatal crashes are down right now. Hopefully that trajectory continues.
Questions for the Chief
3200: No questions
3100: Regarding recruitment, I’ll bring it up again, we should have a specific school for previous/current law enforcement officers.
CHQ: There is no plan, but there has been further conversation on the subject and what that could look like. We also need to be sure that people we are talking to about our academy know that our current academy is 14 weeks.
2900: I’m just asking you to reconsider your external vest stance. There are still numerous discussions about it around the state.
2800: I previously brought up expanding the residency in greater Minnesota to 10-15 miles. I’m just wondering if there has been any discussion on that.
CHQ: There isn’t any interest in expanding the residency requirements in greater Minnesota. We’ll stay with what we have right now. There has been some discussion about the metro residency limits and with the inconsistencies there.
2800: Can there be more discretion on the long sleeve/short sleeve uniforms for the seasonal changes?
CHQ: No. I’m open to ideas, but there will be no changes right now. I don’t see this as a big issue right now.
2800: Could long sleeves uniform shirts be utilized to cover up arm tattoos instead of an arm sleeve?
CHQ: We’re going to leave the tattoo policy right where it is.
2800: Regarding the HEAT shifts, there have been some districts requiring 2.5 stops per hour with this program and the other districts haven’t mentioned a stop requirement with these shifts.
CHQ: I don’t know where that came, but I’ll look into that discrepancy.
President follow-up: It concerns me when numbers are being discussed as they can be used against us down the road.
2800: We’ve discussed some leadership/supervision issues around the state prior to your arrival, and in the military, we take a survey on our command regularly – a Command Climate Survey. I would suggest we do something like this in our agency. I’ve seen this work in the past in the military.
2800: At what point does a supervisor need to review a video or trigger an investigation because of a Trooper dealing with a protected class citizen?
CHQ: If you read the policy, the trigger point is very low (must be investigated) for when a supervisor needs to review a video in this case. There is more than one avenue a person can make a compliant as well.
2800 follow-up: When there is a sustainment in a complaint, does it get sent to the POST board?
CHQ: Every allegation gets sent over to the POST board in real-time. We must update and show the results of that compliant investigation.
2700: Is the State Patrol truly considering scheduling changes because of the sleep seminar?
CHQ: This would be a good conversation between you and the captain in the district. We have a reality that comes with the job. I’m not interested in making schedules miserable for people either.
2700: Given there are bills in the legislature to prompt automated speed enforcement, what is our stance?
CHQ: I don’t think that bill will go anywhere this session. Every year it gets a little bit closer. I’m open to it but I have concerns.
President: I am not in favor of these camera systems as it takes a job away from someone.
CHQ: DOT claims they are monitoring the speeds in work zones, and the speeds are off the charts. DOT continues to bring this issue up. They also recognize there aren’t good areas for us to make stops in work zones and they make our job of enforcement very difficult.
President: How do they know we’re not making stops in work zones? I question where that data is coming from.
CHQ: DOT did lots of analysis on I94 in the Albertville work zone. They believe making traffic stops in work zones isn’t safe either. They are looking at monitoring traffic in work zones and spitting out that data to someone else down the line for enforcement. They are trying to bring speeds down but not have a Trooper in that work zone.
2600: No questions
2500: We have Troopers that routinely work alone or at or below minimums. There seems to be a big shift of people leaving 2500 for transfers around the state or leaving the agency. Why would I stay with the Patrol if I can go a few blocks down the road and make $10,000 more than what I’m making now and have partners to work with?
CHQ: Where would a person go that won’t deal with those issues? We must keep an eye on the organizational performance perspective. It’s also our job to get people to understand that these issues will come and go. We don’t have control in fixing this recruitment issue by ourselves. What can we do to fix this problem in this room?
North follow-up: I think if we paid serious wages, it would help correct this issue.
President follow-up: I think pay is a component, but it’s our responsibility to recruit people to carry on this honorable profession. I have serious concerns about the mental wellbeing of our folks. Troopers working alone is an issue. I think we have some instances where we can free up some money to avoid having people work alone and pay overtime for shifts.
CHQ: Pay would help, but even a substantial increase in pay won’t solve it. There were around 2200 registered police explorers in 2019, the most recent data is at 800. The challenges we have before us in this profession are so complex and deep and we must figure out how we keep working on this.
2500 follow-up: Is there any way to track to see if bonus programs are working in law enforcement?
CHQ: No, there is no data out there. There has been national discussion on whether the recruitment bonus programs will even work long term.
2400: Has there been any more discussions about the State Patrol in Minneapolis?
CHQ: That discussion is still simmering. I continue to say what I’ve said all along that it’s not a good idea.
2300: No questions
2200: Is there any residency requirement for a district investigator? Will the new positions (PIO, regional crash recons) have residency requirements?
CHQ: There should be consistency across the state for those positions (district investigator). I don’t know what residency looks like right now for those new positions.
2100: Could Melissa include policy summaries in regular e-mails that go out?
CHQ: There is not a perfect way to do this. We’ve discussed this exact topic before. We want people to review those general orders.
Secretary follow-up: In PowerDMS you can view changes from the previous signed version to the new version.
Vice president follow-up: I understand why it’s important to review it but for a veteran Trooper, we want to know what changes from what we have been doing prior to that change.
CHQ: I’ll talk to Melissa again about it.
2100: Regarding the HEAT planning, the weekends selected eliminate many people out there that would be interested since they fall on the same weekend rotation. It would be nice if the schedule was staggered so it doesn’t fall on the same rotation.
CHQ: I wasn’t involved with the planning of it, but I know some considerations were in place for holidays, fishing opener, etc.
2100: Our Captain and Lieutenant disagreed with the outcome of a preventable in 2100 where a Trooper used techniques taught to all Troopers at CIST. The over 300 years of experience on this board believe the Trooper did the right thing by taking action to move a blocking, disabled vehicle off the backside of a busy icy interstate bridge deck in the middle of the night. The Trooper put a small dent in his push bumper from pushing the totaled vehicle out of the traffic lane. The Trooper received a preventable crash for this action.
CHQ: I trust the process. I’ll watch the video. We haven’t had a preventable cause this much consternation in years.
President: I appreciate the comment that an issue like this hasn’t come up in years. We asked this individual to do what he was supposed to do, but I think this decision was wrong. This Trooper was trained to remove the vehicle from the traffic lane to avoid further crashes or injuries. I’d be surprised if you felt differently than us on the board. You refer to us as informal leaders in this organization and we all agreed this person couldn’t have handled this situation any better. Please review the video.
2000: Just so we’re clear, are tattoos still a no go?
CHQ: That is correct.
2000: I felt there should have been a day 2 of the recruitment discussion to further unravel the good discussion. We presented a lateral academy idea to Major Erickson.
CHQ: I haven’t seen that yet.
2000: Since we did get rid of the Wonderlic personality assessment for the hiring process, would you be willing to reconsider looking at the lieutenant’s test?
CHQ: No. I’d would however be open to options or ideas instead of just removing the test.
President follow-up: I think the job knowledge portion is fantastic. There used to be a psychological section on these tests that was valuable. It would be good to bring that back. When 50% of our highly talented people fail at this test, something is wrong with it. We have lost many talented leaders in our organization to this test that eventually give up taking it. I think it’s a mistake.
North: No questions
South: Not Present
Secretary: Just some follow-up from January, changing the 60 second prebuffer on the body worn camera to 30 seconds is something I still believe we should be looking at for the body worn cameras.
CHQ: I appreciate it.
President follow-up: I also think we should look at the speed activation threshold as well. I’m getting a lot of feedback from Troopers that work the 70 zones on the interstate that it’s set too low with the current 90 mph activation.
CHQ: Can you give me a scenario?
2800 follow-up: A passing semi catches my eye that didn’t appear to have a DOT number. I caught up to the semi and no law enforcement action was taken due to the DOT number being displayed, which turns into a P999999999-Misc/Training/Other video event. That’s an example that has happened many times. If the threshold been set higher, I would have never needed to create a video.
President follow-up: With the ability to create a video after the fact for fleet systems, wouldn’t that serve the same purpose instead of the speed threshold? I hate to see us creating issues that don’t need to be created.
North: Working on the road, checking a text or something like that, a lot of Troopers see a violation go by and let it go now since they were using their phone just prior to seeing the violation. The local agencies around us all have a live start with no prebuffer.
CHQ: It’s fascinating that you’re not more worried about saving your career instead of worrying about a text message that might be seen on the camera. That’s what my challenge on this is. I don’t want us to lose sight of what that 60 second prebuffer could mean for you to protect your career.
2800 follow-up: Is there a way to automatically P9999999999 and categorize events that autotagging didn’t capture?
Secretary follow-up: We wouldn’t want it to categorize it automatically if it something like that existed. In the event you started your cameras, but forgot to start an event within 5 minutes, now autotagging wouldn’t capture it. If the system automatically categorized evidence that wasn’t autotagged in this case, that evidence would be ID’d and categorized incorrectly.
Treasurer: Not present
Vice-President: Is there any rumors of upcoming changes to the wellness screening for those at a fixed work site or to the Covid testing requirements?
CHQ: I haven’t heard anything.
President: We hopefully will be going to DC in November with MPPOA. If there’s anything at the Federal level we can bring forward, please let us know.
President: I believe we should have an open application period. It would be beneficial to our agency. I don’t see a downside to it. I’m very concerned with our recruiting situation. We should be promoting our health insurance benefit.
President: We should be swearing in cadets on day 1 of the academy like the DNR does to get them contributing to the pension. Existing cops can be turned away by the loss of 4 months of contributions while in the academy. I’m not asking for anything in the realm of probation or anything like that just to swear them in and start contributing to the pension.
CHQ: Thanks for the work you all do.
There have been conversations regarding the MPPOA Legal Defense Fund and if it’s sustainable. Discussions around other options out there. One option that was brought up was a company called PORAC.
Pursuits are not worth the risk anymore. Consider everything at stake if a decision is deemed bad in the eyes of the agency or public.
Discussions were had with CHQ about the future of the MSP classic cars and who will take that over once Jay Sletten retires. President LeDoux will continue to have discussions with CHQ.
Discussion on MRT Troopers that wish to resign from the team. The board will bring it up next meeting with the Colonel.
Delegates should be having quarterly meetings.
We should have a Trooper on the MPPOA board.
We should always have a Trooper on the MSRS board as well.
Motion to donate $250 to the MPPOA Fishing Contest: Motion by 2900, seconded by 2000: CARRIED
Motion to donate $4000 to the House of Shields: Motion by 2100, seconded by 2000: CARRIED
Budget report was communicated via e-mail due to an absence.
United Partners Outreach donations are down slightly for the year, but still bringing in more than we budgeted for.
Investments are down slightly, but 50k higher than this time last year.
May 1st is the deadline for the next issue
Continue to provide articles
Magazine address updates are coming directly to Mark and working very well.
Discussion on recent grievance and internal affairs events. Pursuits are not worth the risk.
Reminder how the grievance committee works. It involves the President, VP, North Delegate, South Delegate and District Delegate in which the grievance occurred.
Interviews should be done on state time during your shift. If a delegate needs to adjust schedules, don’t claim OTR.
Multiple grievances have been filed because of MRT deployments.
MSRS 4.9% contribution rate reduction is possible this legislative session. The board would recommend that if this rate reduction is implemented, to contribute the savings to your deferred compensation plan.
- Discussed body cam issues (front red LED, magnet strength)
- Smartphones are coming – working through supply chain issues right now though
- Weapon light testing
- Uniform contract with Spiewak is ending in May. Not sure on who the replacement vendor will be.
- Half of the 2022 vehicles from Dodge were cancelled. Expect mileage on existing vehicles to increase.
- No more Ford hybrids SUVs being ordered due to issues with them
- Bearcat was ordered and delivered
President LeDoux provided an update on the status of legislation in this session. There are numerous bills that exist this session that benefits law enforcement including the reduction in the pension contribution rate to MSRS, military buy back of years of service and state income tax exemption for police pensions.
MPPOA rescheduled their legislative conference to a virtual conference on April 13th.
Discussion on the current collective bargaining progress.
South: Not present
Treasurer: Not Present
Motion to adjourn at 1540 hours. Motion by 3100, seconded by 2100: CARRIED
- National Troopers Coalition – May 18th-20th – Long Beach, California
- LeDoux, Beasley & Cederstrom
- Backing the Blue Line Ball – May 21st – Duluth, MN
- Orpen, Pearson & McGrew
- MPPOA Summer Conference – June 11th-13th, 2022 – Alexandria, MN
- LeDoux, Harjes, Larsen, Bormann, Cederstrom, Theel, Danielson, Phillips and Johnson.
- Summer Executive Council Meeting – July 12th, 2022 – Vadnais Heights, MN
- Trooper Golf Tournament – July 14th & 15th – Benson, MN
- Retired Troopers Day – August 2nd, 2022 – St. Cloud, MN
- Fall Executive Council Meeting – October 4th, 2022 – Waite Park, MN
- MPPOA DC Trip – Fall
- LeDoux, Beasley & McGrew
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