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President LeDoux called the April 4th, 2023 meeting to order at 0805 hours.

Present were:  President LeDoux, Vice President Beasley, North Weinrich, Secretary Harjes, Treasurer Orpen, 2000 Phillips, 2100 Bormann, 2200 Dellwo, 2300 Larsen, 2400 Cederstrom, 2500 Hanson, 2600 McClure, 2700 McGrew, 2900 Hanson, 3100 Thostenson (Alternate) & 3200 Danielson.

Absent – South Theel, 2800 Johnson & Business Manager Baker

Pledge of allegiance

Moment of silence for fallen officers

Motion to accept the January minutes:  Motion by 2900 Hanson, Seconded by 2400 Cederstrom: CARRIED

Chief’s time:

1005:  Colonel Langer and Major Erickson arrived

It’s been a long winter and it keeps coming. Credit to all that have worked through this winter. Thanks for the work you’re doing.

I feel like the “Struck By” training was successful and made a difference this year. We can tell by our flare usage that members have taken it to heart.

Fatal crashes are down this year from last year. People are paying attention to that decrease.

Street racing is almost non-existent now, it pops up here and there. We’re mitigating the issue. If we let up, no one will fill our void.

The active shooter kits were ordered (carrier and plates). We believe that it should be here for fall in-service training. It’s a very expensive initiative (over $1 million). The breaching tools are harder to acquire with the numbers we are looking for. These will replace the current crowbar in the squad. If needed, we would train on the breaching tool at CIST with training doors, and then issue it out afterwards once they arrive.

Handgun optics are being actively looked at. It’ll be a while yet before we see these, maybe two years. It’s also a very expensive initiative. We’ll likely move to the next handgun generation around that same timeframe.

On the internal affairs front, there are good conversations being had with the new commissioner. There are the few media cases pending right now with a few that finally hit our desk. Regarding the larger media investigation, Lynn will be going through the list to convert subjects to witnesses. Things are moving finally since we need these cases to move.

On the legislative front, everything that we asked for money-wise is in the House and Senate omnibus bill which includes an increase of CMV enforcement, operating deficit funds, a twin-engine helicopter, four additional pilots and the accreditation piece to hire 3 people to go down that path. On the budget side we’re feeling good. Policy requests have moved through the process as well.

Thanks for your work (Mike) on the pension. We need to keep an eye on pension deficiency. The future doesn’t make it look like it will be better. All of us are dependent on that health of that fund.

Collective bargaining will be starting soon. We catch wind of the pattern eventually. We have to keep our eye on the salaries.

With the current process, we will open the traditional process in August. We ended up with around 300 applications for LETO. We’re sitting good. We upped our game with advertising for this hiring process. We’d like to stay connected with the applicants after they make it through interviews and the PT test to try to keep them enticed through the process to come to our agency.

The MSP Dashboard is now live and was a good move for us. Other agencies are moving in that direction too.

Questions for the Chief

3200: No questions

3100: When we have existing General Orders get revised, could the e-mail notification include highlights of the changes in that revised General Order?
CHQ: It depends on the General Order. We try to highlight the big pieces.
Vice-President follow-up: For example, the BWC policy change, it was a simple change to the policy. It’s really nice to know that this specific change is important right now.

3100: I’m assuming it’s a POST board requirement to show up in person for the wellness seminars? Is that something we could look at doing online in the future?
CHQ: We didn’t setup any of these seminars with the intention of getting a POST board credit. Yes, they could be done online. I think the future is to have a blend of both. There’s a time and place for in-person and online training. We are also contracting with a 3C vendor to try to up our game and make that training more valuable.
President follow-up: Part of the new PTSD bill has wellness requirements within it as well.

2900: No questions

2800: Absent

2700: Jump packs are useful in the field to help keep the roads open.
CHQ: It’s on the list, it’s just not higher up in priority on that list on things to buy right now. We might get there, but I don’t know if we’ll ever get there.
President follow-up: I have noticed due to the weather, more people need to jump their squads. When it comes to jumping squad cars, what message should we deliver back?
CHQ: If you’re not working, I don’t know if you’re being paid. Between partners and tow services, I trust people to make the right decisions with a healthy dose of reasonableness to get their squad car started.

2600: Two Troopers that were hired in the first 2022 school were hired at Step 5, but had more than five years of service with other agencies. The contract was ratified during their academy, which allowed new hires to start at a higher step based upon years of service (up to top step). I was just curious if that language reverted back and applies to when they actually started to get compensated properly for their previous service.
CHQ: I’m happy to run that down. Package it up and send it up through the chain of command.
President follow-up: I want to say when I looked at the language, that the old language was still in there in the most recent job posting.
CHQ: That’s super frustrating as we corrected that on the last hiring process.
President follow-up: I still think it has merit to have an open application period. I hate losing people and hearing these stories where we lose people in the process to other agencies.
CHQ: I want to do an ETSO academy again. It’s funny though, that the ETSO troopers wanted more training.
2300 follow-up: I’ve heard of one person that was promoted to a sergeant, that earned DWI awards while on road duties prior to sergeant duties. He didn’t fit the criteria for what we were looking for at the time since it was looking at a specific time, without considering what he did prior to that time period. The process would have been better if we looked at more historical data on applicants.

2000 follow-up: As someone with previous experience, you were typically told not to do traffic, so someone that wants to be a Trooper may not have the opportunity to demonstrate the standards we would be looking for.

CHQ: I can sleep at night knowing that we were looking for that demonstrated skill and experience to reduce the length of the academy. We did leave someone on the table that is now in the 67th academy. There is some acknowledgement that people didn’t or couldn’t put in because of the requirements. If we do an ETSO academy again, we’ll take a hard look at the process and the requirements. This is good, helpful feedback.

President follow-up: I think it’s good to continue to have these conversations and adapt our hiring process. I hope it returns to the environment when I applied, with over 1200 applicants.

Secretary follow-up: You can lose touch on what happens in an academy very quickly by not being directly involved in it. If we run two concurrent academies again, it would be helpful to have a temporary academy coordinator to manage the second academy or a 5th staff officer to assume that role to maintain a consistency.
CHQ: That’s helpful, thank you.

2500: It seems that whisper stop requests coming out of the metro are happening more frequently. How does a trooper navigate that scenario?
CHQ: You don’t make any decisions you’re not comfortable with. I’ll back the Troopers 100% of time. If you don’t have a good reason to stop that car, don’t stop it. Don’t fall for the “we have to get that car stopped” scenario. We’re the ones left to explain why things happened in those cases when they go bad. Make good decisions.

2400: Why are pursuits being judged on the outcome versus the actual policy?
CHQ: Our goal is to help Troopers make good decisions, so they don’t get jammed up.

2400: Is the organization looking at a specialized unit for some of these details such as street racing?
CHQ: We’ve talked about it. I would love to do it, but I think it’s just going to create a mess. It’s not in the cards right now with some of the pressures we face right now in different ways that we must fulfill. We’re going to continue to do things the way we have done them in the past for now.

2400: With collective bargaining, would you consider finding it within our budget, like what the DNR did to supplement a step increase?
CHQ: Yes, with a whole bunch of qualifiers. What the DNR did was a range reassignment. Nothing that I can do could implement that. If we get everything, we asked for legislatively, we’d be financially strong, but we’d have no extra money. I’m aware of the salary issues. If there are things we have to eat in our budget to get something done, I’m prepared to do that.

2300: No questions

2200: No questions

2100: Would you consider a uniform grace period in the spring and fall like it used to be done? We appreciate giving the captains discretion this year.
CHQ: This year we deviated from policy due to the weather. I don’t have a perfect answer.

2100: Troopers have been inquiring about having a more comprehensive promotional process to include peer evaluations and to have an interview process before the posting is even out there, to find good leaders in our organization. A lot of people have been frustrated with the process, that are talented, good troopers, and fail the exam.
CHQ: We have had some pretty good, honest conversations on the promotional process. There is room for improvement, it’s not perfect. I don’t know what our next process will look like. I don’t want to do the peer review thing. I don’t think it was legitimate. It brought up weird feelings. There are things we’d like to see adjusted in the promotional process.

2100: With the way a motor vehicle is defined in the DWI statute, and new developments in transportation such as electric bikes, prosecutors in our area have been reluctant to charge out DWIs with a person operating one of these. Have we looked at any changes in the statute to improve it?
CHQ: Can you send me specifics and some suggested language?

2000: During the temporary assignment at the new governor’s residence in Sunfish Lake, will desk troopers get drivetime since their worksite changed?
CHQ: It’s not our intention. They would still be commuting to a fixed worksite.

2000: With the number of female troopers leaving recently, and the recent 30 by 30 initiatives, what is in the future?
CHQ: The Lt Colonel is on it and she has brought forward some of the things we’ll be looking at. All systems go and we’ll be moving forward with those suggestions. For example, we used to have a female on an interview panel if a female was being interviewed, but the suggestion was made to have a female on every interview panel. Nothing from that meeting has died.

North: No questions

South: Absent

Secretary: Is there a reason why we didn’t livestream the 66th academy graduation?
CHQ: There’s not a great answer other than bandwidth from a staffing perspective at the Office of Communications. I’ll bring it up with Lt Shank to look at for the next graduation. It is a big lift to do on their end, but it is advantageous to us.

Secretary: Sherburne County recently modified policy to allow deputies to take the county issued squad car 20 minutes outside of the county, when previously taking the car outside of the county wasn’t allowed.

Secretary: On those instructor heavy weeks at Camp Ripley (EVOC, UoF, Firearms), an instructor is out of a schedule for a week, and then returns to the district with many extra hours of comp time that needs to be used to get back below 100 hours. This causes further disruptions in a district’s schedule due to reduced staffing. Would we ever look at the true cost of an academy, and ask for additional funds, to pay out academy instructor overtime as cash instead of comp, to help reduce the staffing issues at the district level?
2500 follow-up: It seems to be a consensus among instructors that troopers are harder to get approved to go up to Ripley because it’s known they will be gone a certain number of scheduled days, but district commanders also know that they‘ll be out of the schedule after those scheduled days due to comp time accrual.
CHQ: Cash solves one problem and creates other problems. It’s an inherit wrestling match with the model we have. I don’t have a good answer. We’d have to have the budget to support it, but we’d have to schedule entirely different too.
Vice-President follow-up: It is hard for the district to absorb those instructors, not only when they are gone, but when they return. It’s a real problem that’s semi-invisible when they come back to the districts.
President follow-up: I think it does have merit. Maybe we do have some salary savings due to staffing shortages that we could utilize to break out of that mold of not using money to solve some of these shortages. We have stations that often go unfilled because we don’t want to pay someone to fill that void. I brought up a suggestion to start a pilot project to give troopers 6 hours of overtime to let them use how they want and when they want, to do targeted traffic enforcement in their areas.

Treasurer: With the big wellness push, is there anything we would look at to provide exercise on duty options, etc?
CHQ: I would love for there to be a healthy discussion on this during collective bargaining. Other agencies have quarterly wellness days, allow exercising on duty, etc. There is $350,000 in a bill that provides us a metro space predesign analysis study. It gives us money to have a vendor do predesign work on what 2400, 2500, ISS, CHQ and TDS facilities would or could look like. I’m not saying there would be workout facilities that end up in those plans, but it is standard among public safety facilities today. There is some light at the end of the tunnel for improvements on metro facilities.

Vice-President: We discussed freeway pay last meeting and wanted to setup a sidebar conversation. We are ready to get together to discuss that if you’re still willing to meet on that subject.
CHQ: I would like to have some further conversation with just a few people before we get there.

Vice-President: Is there any further discussion on retention topics with MMB? I don’t just mean troopers leaving early. Is there something we can do to get people to stick around later?
CHQ: MMB doesn’t think there is a problem. I try to talk to the troopers that leave to see why they are leaving. It’s a very tricky piece. Some people there is nothing we can do to retain them. We can’t make it there with collective bargaining, something like that would be a legislative topic to focus on. I’d love to have good conversation about the DROP program that other states use. A lot of states that are in a worse position than us are bringing retirees back to work.

Vice-President: Is there more discussion on recruitment topics with MMB?
CHQ: The bad news on the MMB front, is that they look at those applications that have doubled this hiring process and see the number has improved. The applicant number to us is who passes the interview and row test. I want to continue to try to be innovative and utilize a marketing firm. Other agencies have had success using digital marketing.
Vice-President follow-up: Where will we be at in negotiations when collective bargaining starts in relation to when this current LETO group starts?
CHQ: The final group will be starting school around that timeframe.

President: Our pattern bill hit a setback in the Senate yesterday and it wasn’t adopted. I think MMB has spread some misinformation on where we stand in the job market. Troopers aren’t average. I don’t think it’s unreasonable for us to be paid at or above the average. Please do anything you can on your end. It’s a challenge to even get a bill heard in one of the committees. We will be right back where we were in about 5-6 years if we don’t take any action now. Many other states and agencies use the model of compensation that was brought forward in the bill. We saw the Commissioner of Corrections testify in favor of their people, and we haven’t been able to testify on the same items. I would appreciate it if you can do what you can.

President: The PTSD bill was not well received by others. This is affecting all of us.
CHQ: Within that bill that people lose sight of is people like Eric Mattson, moves them from 60% to 99% payout. That bill also takes care of people if they get in that predicament as well.

President: On the federal front, I think we can do better on the federal level. Is there something we can bring forward from a patrol perspective to bring to DC? We talked about the windfall elimination provision and other important things. We’ll go again in March 2024, and I’d love to bring something forward from the agency.

President: I share your opinion on health insurance. The days of a 25–30-year employees are now out of the norm. The fact that an employee can’t take the health benefit with them, hurts us. A well-funded HCSP would do the same for an employee and let them take it with them.

President: We need to eliminate the death penalty on our spouses if we were to pass before we reach the age of 65, leaving our spouses high and dry. I believe the data would show the number of retired members that die before reaching 65 is low but spouses travel through this career with us and should be entitled to continue to receive the health insurance benefit until we would have reached 65.
CHQ: Would MSRS have the data quicker and easier than it would be to get it from MMB? Everything we have is built on the fact that you would start when you are 21 and work with the state until you retire. Some of these systems need to be looked at and modernized to remain competitive.
President follow-up: The traditional models aren’t working anymore. We must start thinking differently. There is a high probability a 21-year-old employee isn’t going to be here when they are 55.

President: I appreciate the work on the car committee. I appreciate everyone that stepped up to the committee.

Presidents Time

Reminder to watch what you do on social media, be smart!

Pursuits aren’t worth it.

LeDoux and Cederstrom went out to Washington DC on the annual MPPOA trip.

We don’t draw new Trooper’s DPP time in their first year (3 hours).

Treasurers report:

Budget is in good standing.

Investments are up around 7% year to date.


Deadline for the summer magazine articles is May 1st.

We need content to continue to produce magazines.


Three grievances relating to deployments moving forward in May.


A bill is currently advancing in this legislative session aimed at providing supplementary funding to the State Patrol Plan and the PERA Police and Fire Plan, in response to the rise in disability claims. Additionally, the bill includes a provision that mandates officers to complete 24 weeks of therapy with a licensed therapist before pursuing a PTSD disability claim.

Equipment Committee:

  • Working with new samples of Spiewak uniform shirts.
  • Flare issue have been resolved with a shipping container in the metro.
  • Rifle mounts in squads are changing.
  • Looking at sewn on writing for the high-vis jackets.
  • All Durango squads in 2024, no sedans available from Dodge.
  • Fleet looking at updating flash patterns.
  • Looking at getting rid of 559s and introducing a purchasing card.
  • Certain districts are short on unmarked units. There may be more coming out to those districts.
  • Looking at suggestions for a new tourniquet holster.
  • It was brought up if our cold weather gear was PPE compliant.

Legislative Committee:

We’ll see where the pattern settlement bill ends up. We’ve done everything in our power to move this bill forward, but it has stalled in the Senate version of the transportation bill.

Negotiations Committee:

MMB has signaled that 2023-2025 contract negotiations will start this summer on 7/26 & 7/27.

Home Association:

  • An MSPTA fishing lure will be provided at Retired Trooper Day this year.
  • Motion to order 500 lapel pins. Motion by 2400 Cederstrom, seconded by 2500 Hanson. CARRIED
  • Reminder that board elections are this fall.
  • Mike, Dan and Rick met with the 66th academy troopers and signed up them with the association last month.

New Business:

3200: None

3100: None

2900: Discussion on dates for the rest of the year and the golf tournament dates. Discussionon next year’s meeting dates.

2800: Absent

2700: None

2600: Discussion on bringing in a representative of groups that we donate money to every year to talk to the board on their needs and how the money is being used.

2500: None

2400: None

2300: None

2200: None

2100: None

2000: None

North: None

South: Absent

V.P.: Reminder about the fall elections. Keep in mind on what the future of this organization looks like.

Secretary: None

Treasurer: None

President: Discussion and reminder on the district meeting vote to update bylaws to reflect the Janus decision. Outline of changed provided to delegates to vote on at their next meeting. Delegates to submit results to Secretary Harjes.

Discussion on the MPPOA open board seat

Motion to adjourn at 1450 hours. Motion by 2400 Cederstrom, seconded by 3100 Thostenson:  CARRIED

Upcoming Dates:

  • National Troopers Coalition Conference – April 16th – 20th, 2023 – Michigan (LeDoux, Theel & Orpen)
  • MPPOA Summer Conference – June 10th-12th, 2023 – Alexandria, MN
    • (Harjes, LeDoux, Orpen, Theel, Cederstrom, Larsen, Dellwo, McGrew, Phillips & Johnson)
  • Summer Executive Council Meeting – July 11th, 2023 – Vadnais Heights, MN
  • MSPTA Golf Tournament – July 19th– July 20th, 2023 – Otter Tail, MN
  • Retired Trooper Day – August 1st, 2023 – St. Cloud, MN
  • Fall Executive Council Meeting – October 3rd, 2023 – St. Cloud, MN

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