PDF version of the minutes located here.
President LeDoux called the January 4th & 5th, 2022 meeting to order at 0802 hours on day one and 0800 on day 2.
Present were President LeDoux, Vice President Beasley, North Weinrich, South Theel, Secretary Harjes, Treasurer Orpen, 2000 Phillips, 2100 Bormann, 2200 Dellwo, 2300 Larsen, 2400 Cederstrom, 2500 Hanson, 2600 McClure, 2700 McGrew, 2800 Johnson, 2900 Hanson, 3100 Pearson, 3200 Danielson, Business Manager Baker.
Moment of silence for fallen law enforcement officers
Pledge of allegiance
Swearing in of all 2022-2023 MSPTA board members
Motion to accept the October 2021 minutes: Motion by 2900 Hanson, seconded by 2400 Cederstrom:CARRIED
1000: Colonel Langer and Lt Col. Schrofer arrived
The Potter trial outcome was tough to deal with. The message that went out was difficult to craft, since everything we communicate via e-mail is public information. The verdict was unsettling since it was a mistake that was made and the presumed desire of prosecutors in the upward departure of sentencing guidelines.
The sentencing on a person that assaulted one of our Troopers in the metro does a disservice to our profession. I was notified of the sentence just after it had occurred, when the County Attorney’s Office sent me a copy of their news release. To say that I disagreed with the sentence of probation, is an understatement. Our Trooper did a fantastic job handling himself throughout the entire incident and was attacked without any provocation. I made the decision to address my disappointment direct to County Attorney Freeman during a meeting that was scheduled regarding pursuits. That meeting occurred this week. I relayed the reasons why I believe a sentence of probation was entirely inadequate in this case both from my personal perspective, but also from my professional perspective as a State Trooper and someone who represents all of our Troopers. The County Attorney agreed to look into the matter and called me the next day. During our conversation, he stated the sentence was within the realm of “normal,” but he also agreed that normal was perhaps not the appropriate sentence to be seeking. He asked if calling our Trooper direct would be helpful. I urged him to do so. While nothing can change the sentence that was imposed, the opportunity to express our dismay and disapproval was met with receptivity to our claims. In the future, I expect a different posture and outcome should similar cases come before the County Attorney to review.
Recruitment is very difficult right now. We have about 43 people left in both the 64th and 65th academy processes. The process still must go through medical and psychological evaluations. What can we do right now to improve recruitment? We don’t have the answers right now.
I’m very impressed by the way the organization came around to support the families of Trooper Rob Veldkamp and Trooper Derek Haehnel.
There is a process bottleneck in internal affairs. If it needs to get kicked back to the district, we’ll get it back there as quick as possible. Thank you for representing members in those meetings.
President follow-up: This process causes undue anxiety for our members.
The COVID testing front is quiet throughout the agency. HR is dealing with issues getting kits sent out on a regular schedule. The law that provided presumptive occupational disease of COVID in the workplace expired 12/31/2021. Each instance you should document a first report of injury to have it documented.
Questions for the Chief
3200: No questions.
3100: Regarding the on-call system in place today and the gaps in on-call coverage, is it just an allotment of hours each district gets which is why there are gaps? It would eliminate issues if there was no gaps in on-call time.
VP follow-up: I do know it’s an issue in multiple districts.
CHQ: It’s the first I’ve heard of it, but it can be brought up at our next Captain’s meeting to discuss. I’m open to talking about it. We’re going to find it’s different among each district.
3100: I think we’re overlooking a huge pool of applicants that are current law enforcement officers in the state. We could offer a shortened academy, and since we have so many vacancies in the state, there are opportunities for that person to stay where they are at while attending a shortened school.
2800 follow-up: I think we are missing out on military and current LE that would want to switch careers but are turned off by our academy in its current form. I think offering some sort of residency preference would also be helpful for current cops with 5 years on in the State of Minnesota.
2300 follow-up: I know of deputies in my area with families that have no intention of moving but would jump at the chance to be a Trooper in my area if they could stay there and we offered a shortened academy.
2000 follow-up: I would propose a separate school since an incumbent group is so different than a traditional or LETO applicant. The training they received at their other agency may not be up to par with what we do.
CHQ: What length would that academy be? We’re going to have to figure out a way to deal with recruitment that will feel uncomfortable.
VP follow-up: We would love to sit together in a workgroup to talk about this in a bigger discussion with everyone having a seat at the table.
President follow-up: Other agencies have offered incentivized hiring bonuses or retention bonuses. I don’t think there is any one thing that will fix recruitment.
CHQ: None of the things we can predict seem to be coming true in the recruiting environment.
2100 follow-up: I think changing some of the dynamics of the academy would be helpful to recruitment. I would like to see how someone works under stress in performing the hard skills, instead of figuring out how to make their bed quickly or things like that.
2800 Follow-up: In the military you are broken down to be built back up to follow orders into a battle. That is not what we are doing here.
CHQ: We have evolved the academy over the years and removed many things that have no value to the job. It is a very different approach in the academy than what it was when all of us went through our academies. We’re looking to train them to be successful State Troopers instead of soldiers.
2900: No questions.
2800: Instead of wearing a sleeve to cover a tattoo, I’ve had people ask if they can wear their long sleeve uniform shirt all year long. This also includes protection from the elements such as sunburn and fluids. It would be nice to allow a transition period for switching uniforms during the seasonal weather changes.
2800: I think there are safety concerns with non-sworn commercial vehicle inspectors in marked squad cars. In this day in age, no one can tell the difference between a non-sworn squad vs a sworn officer squad and it is a safety risk for those officers.
2800: I would ask for a consideration in increasing residency limits for greater Minnesota to a 10 or 15 mile buffer. It would help improve recruitment.
President: There has never been a more competitive time for recruitment. Offering different residency requirements would certainly help in cost of living and finding homes.
2800: PTS(D) awareness in our agency. We’ve been very good as an agency in recognizing these issues, much better than other agencies out there. If it’s foreseeable it is preventable.
CHQ: The sleep seminars start this week, but the more that we can arm people with information and managing their life. No one can predict what will happen to a person when trauma strikes in their life. We just have to figure out how to keep ourselves in a good spot. We’ve done some smart things with the academy to help people prepare such as introducing peer counselors during the first few weeks and providing physical benefits as well with the YMCA overseeing the academy fitness program.
President: I want to compliment you for starting these Trooper wellness programs, and I appreciate the involvement of spouses, since they live the same life, we do.
CHQ: I appreciate that. I get the ability to implement these ideas, but the ideas don’t always come from me.
2700: No questions
2600: With the new deployment of the Taser 7, we’re getting a much more advanced weapon system that requires much more thinking of the usage of that weapons platform. Would you be open to giving the option of allowing a Trooper to choose to carry it or not?
CHQ: No I would not. We had the opportunity to test the Axon VR system last month. I found the virtual reality training to be very beneficial. We are receiving VR systems in 2022 as part of the Axon contract. It will provide an opportunity to have little to no downtime while in Use of Force training giving a person more repetitions using the VR system and the weapon systems that we use.
President follow-up: It would be beneficial to have our elected officials use this system as well.
2600: I understand that freeway pay can come and go. Our dogwatch (80 cars) consists of the Troopers from the 10, 30, 70 beat. The 80 cars (dogwatch station) covers all three districts. The 80 Troopers from the 2670 station, they earn freeway pay, but the 80 Troopers that live in the 10 and 30 beat do not. They cover the same area during the same shift, so we are inconsistent in how we apply the freeway pay to people within a single station.
CHQ: I’d like to talk about it, but I think it needs to come up at collective bargaining.
President follow-up: We could have a sidebar about it.
2500: The only other concern is the 60 second look back on the body cam with the highly personal nature of the device, it captures a lot of information in that 60 second period. A 30 second period would be more reasonable.
CHQ: We have a command staff meeting later this month to discuss the rollout and how it is going. I don’t know if I want to change the 1-minute look back period, but it is something we will discuss at this meeting.
South follow-up: Going back to comments a few years back regarding most of our activity happening in front of a squad car, most of our events still happen in front of our squad car, where we could recover video if needed, and 30 seconds would be a good number instead of a minute
2300 follow-up: 30 seconds is still a long time to catch video leading up to the event start time.
2400: Thank you for the acknowledgement of the miscarriage of justice in the Kim Potter trial and the incident with our Trooper being assaulted.
CHQ: I’m certainly having conversations about it as well behind the scenes. I think it would have created more damage than good if we would have made a public statement regarding the Trooper assault outcome. There’s going to be lots of conversation at the legislature this session about crime in the state. We lost our voice in our profession thanks to one person, no one cared what Chiefs in law enforcement had to say to the public. I’m eager for this legislative session in bringing these issues to light.
2600: This media narrative about all these small things that people are stopped for is the reason (expired tabs, broken window, etc.) why people are fleeing, a normal person doesn’t flee with normal stop items like that.
CHQ: The Commissioner is extremely comfortable with our current pursuit policy. We cannot get gutsy on pursuits. We have county attorneys that are more than happy to charge cops on pursuits.
2300: No questions
2200: No questions
2100: There are pay issues with specialty assignments and people being paid correctly and getting fixed in an appropriate timeframe.
CHQ: It is concerning, and we’ve gone through the exercises with HR to verify everything is correct. Part of that included going through every FTO and backgrounder to identify any issues that were out there. I think we have the issue identified.
2000: Regarding the Taser usage and the Kim Potter trial and the “expert” use of force for saying it was wrong to deploy the weapon system on someone in the driver’s seat of a vehicle at that distance.
CHQ: I’m super confident with our training. Our whole world revolves around vehicle stops and how we do things. The expert testimony was odd. We have an eye on everything that happened there, but I don’t have an answer on if we’ll change anything right now.
2000: Regarding the Troopers assigned to the Executive Protection Detail, is there a clearer definition for the IOD article in the contract for their specific job role and their duties if they are injured? There roles are significantly different than anyone else’s in the agency.
CHQ: We’ll have a conversation with the detail about that. It’s tough to play what-if on scenarios unless something comes to light.
North: The new law change with the non-suspension of a driver’s license if a person doesn’t pay their fines.
CHQ: It’s been in the works for a long time for none of the reasons we agree with.
North: There was a pursuit in our area involving a game warden and us, that was called off numerous times. It could have been stopped by stop sticks, but we were not able to use them since we weren’t actively pursuing. We then obtained a warrant and did an entry on a home which was much riskier than just stopping the vehicle with stop sticks.
CHQ: You bring a great one-off example with some of the challenges with our policy.
South: The 8 of us that work down at the Capitol are concerned with the staffing conditions down at the Capitol.
CHQ: We will know more this afternoon at our staffing meeting. We haven’t decided yet. We’ll make the best decision we can with the information we have today. We’ll be lucky to have two additional Troopers assigned there with the staffing shortages. It’s frustrating that we can’t inject the people we need down there.
Secretary: I just wanted to bring up the drive time issue again, to be able to have a sidebar regarding it down the road when we both have time available.
Treasurer: I have Troopers concerned about the body worn cameras and being involved in a critical incident. The concern is about when that body worn camera will be turned off.
Secretary follow-up: MPPOA/LDF had a presentation over the summer that advised agencies that have body worn cameras, should have a clear ending to the video in policy if a member is involved in a critical incident. The supervisor on the scene should have the officer provide a public safety statement, and then is relieved of duty on the scene, and the body cam turned off.
President follow-up: We just would like consistency in how a critical incident and the body cam video is handled by a supervisor statewide.
CHQ: I’ll bring it up at our meeting for discussion.
Vice-President: Our COVID policy should be reflective of the current CDC guidelines.
CHQ: HR is already aware of it.
Vice-President: The OLA study numbers show us still near the bottom of the compensation list with recently settled contracts and our recent pay increases.
President follow-up: I think striving for us to be in at least the average of this group is a small ask.
CHQ: That report is antiquated already with changes and market adjustments in other agencies pay over the past year.
President: Some other agencies have utilized DROP retirement plans to retain people longer
President: Please reach out to me if there’s anything I can bring to federal level with our MPPOA DC trip.
President: There are some significant savings in money with us having less people than what we’re funded for. Could we use this savings of money to provide overtime opportunities for stations to fill shifts?
National Troopers Coalition
Motion to continue NTC membership after dues increase. Motion made by 2000 Phillips, seconded by 2600 McClure: CARRIED
NTC Spring Conference (May 18th-20th) Attendees – President LeDoux, Vice President Beasley, 2400 Cederstrom
Hopefully during the next round of MPPOA elections we can have a member run for a board position on the MPPOA board.
MPPOA recently held a political event to raise money and support candidates that support law enforcement.
MPPOA Legislative Conference Attendees will be President LeDoux, VP Beasley, South Theel, 3100 Pearson and 2700 McGrew.
Charitable Donations / Upcoming Events
Motion to contribute $1000 to the NTC Charitable Fund. Motion by 2900 Hanson, seconded by 3200 Danielson: CARRIED
Those attending Wishes & More on February 5th, 2022, will be President LeDoux, Secretary Harjes, Treasurer Orpen, 2000 Phillips and 3100 Pearson.
Motion to sponsor a $2500 table for Backing the Blue Line Ball 2022. Motion by 2900 Hanson, seconded by 2700 McGrew: CARRIED
Those attending Backing the Blue Line Ball on May 21st will be 2000 Phillips, 3100 Pearson and 2700 McGrew.
Motion to donate $1000 to the 100 Club Gala event. Motion by 2000 Phillips, seconded by 2900 Hanson: CARRIED
Motion to donate to $2000 to Soldier 6. Motion by South Theel, seconded by 2000 Phillips: TABLED
Motion to donate up to $4000 to the annual MSPTA Golf Tournament. Motion by 2900 Hanson, seconded 2100 Bormann: CARRIED
Motion to donate up to $500 to the annual Ted Foss Golf Tournament. Motion by 2900 Hanson, seconded by 2000 Phillips: CARRIED
Motion to donate up to $500 to the annual Tim Bowe Golf Tournament. Motion by 2900 Hanson, seconded by 2000 Phillips: CARRIED
Motion to donate $1000 to Alexandria Technical College. Motion by 2300 Larsen, seconded by 2600 McClure:CARRIED
Motion to give each dispatcher a $10 Caribou gift card for Telecommunicators Awareness week in April. Motion by 2900 Hanson, seconded by 2400 Cederstrom: CARRIED
Treasurer’s report: Treasurer Orpen presented the budget report. Budget is in good standing.
Motion to approve the budget. Motion by 2900 Hanson, seconded by 2000 Phillips: CARRIED
Magazine: Business Manager Baker provided an update to the magazine. Be sure you update your address if you’re not receiving the magazine through the App or the website.
Grievance: Discussion on the resolution of deployment pay. We are still waiting for the signed contract from the state. Details include a onetime payout of 20 hours of compensatory time. See Chief’s Memo 22-022 for details on how to receive the one time payout.
Do not use your personal phone to document, photograph, or video record anything related to your job while on duty.
Do not falsify documents, traffic stops, or reports. It is very difficult, if not impossible situation to overcome for a Trooper.
Do not post items related to your job or personal opinions relating to your job on social media. We are public officials and held to a different standard.
Pension/Retirement: President LeDoux provided a MSRS update. The MSRS funds are still doing well. PERA is struggling with people leaving public service. With our group having the insurance benefit, we don’t see as many people leaving as PERA does, helping with plan stability.
Be sure to remind your new Troopers to max out your alternate holiday bank early in their careers.
Remind all your Troopers to put in at least $400 into their deferred comp each year for the $400 state match to help with retirement. The MSRS expense ratios are very low compared to other plans.
President LeDoux is hoping to schedule an in-person retirement meeting (and not a zoom meeting) for upcoming retirees.
Equipment Committee: No new updates on equipment committee items. There is an upcoming meeting.
New legislative session starts at the end of the month.
MPPOA DC trip will be attended by President LeDoux, VP Beasley and 2700 McGrew.
Reminder of the Political Contribution Refund program. Once per year you can donate up to $50 as an individual or $100 as a couple to a registered legislative member’s campaign (one that has signed up for the program) and receive that $50 or $100 back as a refund. Support the candidates that support the Trooper’s Association legislative initiatives such as increasing pay, improving benefits or stopping anti-cop legislation.
- To check if your representatives have signed up for the program visit this website. https://cfb.mn.gov/reports/#/public-subsidy-agreement/17027/
- Additional information and the refund form can be found at
Negotiations Committee: We had an internal MLEA meeting on 12/29 to discuss what our initial proposal will be to the state this bargaining period. The first meeting with the State was on January 6th & 7th. Non-economic items were discussed and addressed throughout the two-day meeting.
Please supply the Secretary with your alternate delegate– please submit once your delegate is known. Be sure this person knows what the responsibilities entail.
We need to find someone to take over the classic car fleet when CVI Jay Sletten retires Dec 7th, 2022. If there is an interested member in the organization, please contact Secretary Harjes or President LeDoux for more information.
Motion to give Jay Sletten $250 for his time and expenses in maintaining the vintage fleet. Motion by 2800 Johnson, seconded by 2900 Hanson: CARRIED
2700: Discussion regarding public political endorsements on people running for office. The MSPTA doesn’t endorse political candidates.
2600: Bring up 21-day scheduling rule as a reminder to new cadets during the MSPTA meeting at the academy.
2200: Discussion regarding an Internal Affairs investigation
North: Suggested having different venues or trips for quarterly meetings.
South: Motion to produce a wooden State Patrol badge for Representative Michelle Fischbach. Motion by South Theel, seconded by 2000 Phillips. CARRIED
Motion to replace the wooden badges (up to $200) that we use for retiree funerals and to talk to the supervisor’s association to help split the cost. Motion by South Theel, seconded by 2000 Phillips: CARRIED
Motion to adjourn at 1600 hours day 1 meeting. Motion by 2900 Hanson, seconded by South Delegate Theel: CARRIED
Motion to adjourn at 1250 hours day 2. Motion by 2700 McGrew, seconded by South Delegate Theel: CARRIED
- Wishes and More – Feb 5th, 2022 – Bloomington, MN
- MPPOA Legislative Conference – February 25th-27th – Duluth, MN
- MPPOA DC Fly-in – March 8th-10th – Washington DC
- Spring Executive Council Meeting – April 5th, 2022- Waite Park, MN
- National Troopers Coalition – May 18th-20th – Long Beach, California
- Backing the Blue Line Ball – May 21st – Duluth, MN
- 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
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