PDF Copy of Minutes

President Dellwo called the July 9th, 2019 meeting to order at 0808 hours.

Pledge of Allegiance was recited by board.

Present were:  President Dellwo, Vice President LeDoux, North Braaten, South Miles, Secretary Harjes, Treasurer Berglund, 2000 Grothem, 2100 Zynda, 2200 Dellwo, 2300 Larsen, 2400 Theel, 2500 Miakkula, 2600 Beasley, 2700 Carlson, 2800 Weinrich, 2900 Hanson, 3100 Pearson, 3200 Danielson, Business Manager Baker.

All board members present at meeting.

Motion to accept the April minutes:  Motion by 2000, Seconded by South:CARRIED

Chief’s time:

1000:  Colonel Langer and Lt Col. Schrofer arrived

Appreciates coming to the MSPTA meetings and the dialog that happens during these meetings.

The Colonel hasn’t heard of any issues with backpay checks. Julie Bever (DPS HR) does the calculations manually if there was a differential pay during the 2-year backpay period, otherwise the pay was calculated automatically. If you feel there is an issue with your backpay, route that request through your district delegate to pass on to President Dellwo.

VP Follow-up: Why do retirees have to request their backpay instead of it being automatic?
CHQ: I’ll ask HR.

The compensation study started with a single productive meeting. The second meeting was set and cancelled by MMB. This second meeting hasn’t been rescheduled. The study is currently not happening yet and the Colonel is frustrated that the process hasn’t moved forward since the cancellation of the second meeting. The Deputy Commissioner is going to express concerns to MMB to get this study moving forward as it is a part of the contract that was just voted on by membership. The Colonel believes, in his opinion, that this study should be in process right now since it is an obligation of the state to complete. This study could take a long time (9+ months), and the sooner it gets planned, the sooner it can start.

LETO started with 15 students in July at Century College.

We are headed into budget headwinds for this biennium. We have around 638 State Troopers. This next academy will be considerably smaller than previous academies. There was no base budget increase last biennium, so we’re absorbing the payroll increases as an agency. There was approval, to submit to the Commissioner’s office, our current deficit to look into proposals for additional funding.

Meal reimbursement misconception and clarification, it is not considered per diem.  If you submit an expense report, you should be submitting the actual expense, up to the limits set forth in the bargaining agreement. For instance, if you spend $1.49 on lunch, but the meal limit set is $9.00, you should claim the $1.49 and not the full amount. If you spend more than the set amount, say $13.50 but the limit is $9.00, you should only claim $9.00.

Mission wise the Colonel is very happy where we are going. All areas of our agency are on deck for our mission in supporting the new hands-free law by conducting presentations and making the public aware of the upcoming law change.

This governor and commissioner are both very big on community engagement. We need to be better at shameless self-promotion. Governor’s office is requiring weekly updates on community engagement throughout the state by all state agencies. We cannot be everywhere all the time, but we need to try to find balance between community engagement events and regular duties.
VP Follow-up: Pointed out that troopers enjoy community engagement but they don’t want to be talked to about activity if they engage in community engagement.

The agency is trying to expedite investigations. At the district level investigations are moving quickly. At the IA/agency level the process is much slower. Lynn Mueller is in a tough position since she wears multiple hats and handles all of DPS. She is more than willing to be receptive to suggestions to improve workflow. In regards to the multiple policy violations on a statement of charges, this issue is continuing to be worked on.

South Follow-Up: Can we put the active IA investigations on the APB report to hold someone accountable? The system is broken. The vast majority of these IA investigations, the Trooper just wants to get it done and put behind them.
CHQ: I’d have to think about that.

Minneapolis is not processing forfeitures anymore. Felony level and above will still be handled.

Preventable crashes/backing crashes are still a common theme across the agency.

This fall’s in-service will include a 1-hour discussion regarding the science behind addiction issues. Many cases that have resulted in recent IA investigations have involved alcohol to some degree or another. Colonel heard positive feedback on the nutrition specialist at Spring IST and this 1-hour class will continue that conversation on Trooper wellness.

Questions for the Chief

3200: A Trooper from Beltrami County took a pay cut coming to us. Reiteration on the wage issue.
CHQ: We are abnormal in that it takes us 8 years to receive top pay, where other agencies reach that in 3 years. We need to figure out how to get rid of that 8-year span and keep the conversation alive on the issue.

3100: In a high stress scenario, a Trooper forgets their hat and receives a policy violation over the hat after doing a good job during an incident. The concern lies in future incidents, will the Trooper go for the hat first instead of taking care of the situation at hand? Is this method of discipline accomplishing anything?
CHQ: It’s hard to respond without hearing the specific incident. I don’t have a perfect answer. I would hope that the style of that message comes up more as a leadership moment, but I’m not aware of any progressive discipline over the issue.

2900: Echoing the wage issue as other delegates have brought up.

2800: What is the measure for evaluations with Captains and Lieutenants? Are APB reports included in that?
CHQ: APB is intended to keep checks on everything from the regionally, district and Trooper level and holds us accountable.

2800: Are you pushing the 4 pillars more than in the past? It seems that traffics stops or enforcement outside of the 4 pillars do not seem to matter lately.
CHQ: Nothing has changed from my perspective and the message out to the districts. That doesn’t diminish the importance of enforcement outside of the 4 pillars.

2800: I’m aware of military members that will never join our agency due to our current tattoo policy, and specifically, military related insignia tattoos. Will this ever change?
CHQ: I’m comfortable with our tattoo policy. I don’t know if that’ll stay that way forever, but I’m not interested in changing it right now. Military members have my utmost respect, but there would be no effective way to police those types of tattoos.

2800: Thank you for your support on our wages.

2700:Why are rookie comp banks reduced 40 hours when pay is the same during the academy as it is when they finish the academy?
CHQ: Ultimately decided to pay them off. It used to be since they were changing bargaining units, but that has softened up over the years. Also, it avoids them having too much comp time, and forcing a rookie to take off during the FTO process to avoid going 100 hours.

2700: With the warning change for the new hands-free law, can we add the move over law language back over on to it?
CHQ: I think we’re going to leave it as it for right now. We’ll reevaluate it after August.

2700:With the hands-free law, is there a plan to add signage similar to the seatbelt signs at the ports of entry into the state?
CHQ: MNDOT is planning on adding something, I’m not sure what but they are looking into it.

2600: The number one issue I get questions on is about wages.

2500: We are the best recruiters for our agency, but I’ve personally known a person that always wanted to be a Trooper, but had decided to go to another law enforcement agency, making nearly $18,000 more than top pay here, in 3 years. What can I tell people like these in an effort to recruit them here?
CHQ: Give them the facts, take home squad, health care, and etc. It’s pretty tough to counteract that decision (to go elsewhere) if it is money driven.

2400: Do we have to fill these empty 4600 & 4700 spots right away? Could we wait until we have back fill to fill those positions?
CHQ: 4600 is tough to do that with because they are mandated, 4700 is a bit easier to make happen. This is an issue to be worked on long term.

2400: Can you show the same passion for the hands-free bill for our pay issues?
CHQ: Yes. It’s not just me up there testifying, there are multiple discussions on every issue and the stance of the State Patrol. The Colonel cannot just testify on an issue without consulting the appointing authority (MMB/Executive Branch) and an unfair comparison. The Colonel plants his flag on the compensation study. That issue is a completely different issue from wages. The hands-free bill had the public support of the entire Executive Branch including both the current governor and the previous governor. If the governor did not support hands free, the Colonel wouldn’t have been allowed to talk as he did regarding the issue.
South Follow-up: The perception of the membership is seen as very hands off from CHQ on the pay issue.
CHQ: I support the concept, and with the data that I’ve seen, we need to figure out a path forward to move the State Patrol in the right direction. The data shows that a compensation study is long overdue. The compensation study is the only thing right now that will put us on that path to help us right the members. I don’t think the compensation study will show the State Patrol in a positive light.
2600 Follow-up: Do you have any sense of what MMB’s position will be, with that study, and actually use that information during the collective bargaining process? I don’t believe MMB has been negotiating in good faith.
CHQ: Maybe. That could also be used as exhibit A during a future arbitration case against the state. I don’t believe the next round of negotiations would push MMB into a one-time pass to get us comparable to other agencies as a result of the comp study. The Colonel’s strategy has been to push and press incrementally in the right direction and this comp study will get us there. The Colonel can’t tell MMB what to do. He has no interest in us being anything other than highly paid. The compensation study is a management approved function (that state is paying for it). There is nothing the Colonel is doing that is working against our pay – at all. I think the comp study is going to put MMB in a really bad position.
VP Follow-up: There was a lack of acknowledgment on the loss of 17 Troopers over the course of the last year.  There was a missed opportunity during your testimony before the Senate Transportation Committee to talk about wage disparity and the loss of those troopers. My other concern is the Commissioner going after money for a new CHQ or improving buildings instead of going after the wage issue.
CHQ: The building money would come out of bonding bills not the trunk highway funds like wages. The Commissioner has a vision for a dedicated central office with workout rooms, dedicated space for the agency, a place for new recruits to interview, etc. There is going to be a bonding priority for a new DPS headquarters. The Colonel will take this entire wage message back to the Commissioner.

2400: Thanks for the Dodge Chargers in the fleet, Troopers really like them.

2300: Basically, what happened with Peer Counselor Coordinator Michael Peterson? The Peer Support program with the Mike Peterson contract has been great, but we’ve heard the contract is up, but we haven’t heard any updates. How long is the contract?
CHQ: The contract was up with the previous vendor and went out for bid. One vendor applied and that vendor was not selected. The RFP is back out there for companies to bid on. During an RFP process, any vendor can put in. If a vendor does not put in, we cannot select that vendor. My hope is that we get good vendors to put in for this RFP. It is an annual contract, but can be extended. Once a certain number of extensions are met, it has to go back out for bid.

2200: Regarding the hiring process and the personality assessment, what is the assessment looking for if we are turning away potentially good candidates?
CHQ: It is not a perfect test. If someone has an idea for this test, we could look at it. With this test, we have a greatly reduced failure rate during the psychological exam. The search for the perfect instrument (test) continues. We haven’t been concerned with the fail rate of this test. We have seen a greatly reduced rate in the psychological exam.
2200 Follow-up: What is the pass/fail rate of this assessment?
CHQ: This year, for LETO, we had 379 applicants take the test with 195 of them passing.Wonderlic designed the test and there is lots of science behind it.
North Follow-up: Is this common among other agencies state-wide to wash out people in the hiring process due to an entrance (screening) test?
CHQ: I still feel that a test is a good idea to screen candidates with an exam.
President: What do other state patrol agencies do for their entrance exams?
CHQ: We can get some data on that to look at.

2100: Going forward with future contract negotiations, and the wage disparity, your role in that is of concern.
CHQ: Understood, my best way is to advocate through this upcoming compensation study. Make no mistake about it, the Colonel willcontinue to champion and advocate for State Troopers behind the scene as well.

2000: Do you know the positions that were created by the commissioner? Where does that money come from? There were no new appropriations for these positions.
CHQ: 4 positions total. It is funded by the division and would come from existing resources.

North: Wages.

South: Are there any dispatch updates? Was there a workgroup that was formed? Were any Troopers included on that workgroup? I’d like to give some feedback on returns. Whenever there is an alert on a stolen vehicle or person (AKA), the vast majority, the dispatcher instantly checks the Trooper, and doesn’t take the 15-30 seconds to read the response to see what we have here.
CHQ: We are meeting once a month to discuss issues that are coming out from the field side and the communication side of things. We’re trying to increase communication between the field operations and the PSAPs. It is strictly supervisors with no RCOs or Troopers. Those are the exact issues that the workgroup is focusing on.

South: New pursuit policy has worked well.
CHQ: Colonel has been really impressed with the decision making and the change in thinking on that issue. The change has been a good move for us.

Secretary: No Questions

Treasurer: No Questions

Vice-President: I would like us to look at turning cadets into full members to start putting money into their pension, like the DNR currently does. These Troopers are missing out on 4 months of pension contributions.
CHQ: We can have a sidebar on this.

President: No Questions

Presidents Time

Went over numerous thank you letters from various groups. Reminded the board that we do not include Thank You letters from representatives in our magazines, as it gives the wrong message since we do not endorse any particular political candidate or group.

Retired Troopers Day – If you’re bringing a retiree, please bring a short biography about them.

President meeting with Assistant Commissioner. Assistant Commissioner did mention he would look at pay issues. He did unveil the Commissioners plan for a new, proposed State Patrol/DPS headquarters.

We will withdraw the 3 hours vacation this August, as noted in the bylaws. As a reminder, this allows the MSPTA to attend legislative meetings, to lobby/testify at the Capitol, and attend MPPOA Conferences and National Trooper Coalition Conventions.

United Partners Outreach is looking at adding credit card processing to the phone solicitation program for the association. This will be implemented by the end of the year for all UPO’s customers. We have a meeting with Bruce Clark from UPO in August to discuss this change in detail.

Major Huettl has told me the required gas mask questionnaire and process is being improved for next time within the bounds of what we can do with it.

There will be a combination of experienced and new delegates will beon the negotiations committee for this upcoming contract. The incumbent team members will be Mike LeDoux, Pat Miles, Gerry Hanson, and Joe Dellwo.  The new team members are Scott Bratten, Dan Beasley, Jason Theel, and Rick Harjes.

MPPOA Update

  • 10 Delegates went to summer convention.
  • There was an update to the MPPOA bylaws (relating to the Janus decision in 2018) and fair share members. You now cannot be a member of MPPOA (and receive LDF benefits) unless you are a full member of your local union (in our case the MSPTA). If an officer’s agency doesn’t have a local union, that officer may still join the MPPOA and receive LDF benefits (this does not apply to Troopers).
  • The new executive director of the MPPOA is Brian Peters. Brian is going to schedule quarterly meetings with the large police union presidents. The first meeting will be in July and President Dellwo will be attending.
  • LDF legal experts recommend unlocking your phones with passcodes instead of biometrics (such as a fingerprint or facial recognition). This is due to you being compelled or forced to provide biometrics with a warrant, but if your phone uses a passcode instead of biometrics, this does not apply.

Treasurers report:

Treasurer Berglund presented the budget report to the board.

Motion to accept budget report. Motion by 2900 Hanson, seconded by 2400 Theel:  CARRIED


  • August 30thDeadline for next magazine.
  • TDS supplied graduation article.
  • President Dellwo, VP LeDoux & Delegate Theel will contribute articles.


Provided the board an overview of active internal affairs cases and grievances.


.5% increase in pension contributions in 2020 to 15.4%.

Equipment Committee:

  • External vest carriers being tested for district investigators.
  • External Vests for road troopers won’t happen
  • Heated wipers have been too cost prohibitive for squads.
  • New rifle locks over the next 4-5 years as we cycle through squads.
  • Pilot project – tire deflation devices, not moving forward at this time.
  • Looking into a high gloss tourniquet holder for belt.
  • Still replacing LIDAR units.
  • More Narcan purchased to replace expiring units.
  • 2020 Fleet Update
    • Hybrid SUV Option – Will save 900 Gallons of fuel per squad per year per Ford.
    • 80/20 split on the Charger/SUV mix (80% being the Chargers – around 10k cheaper than SUV)
    • Around 60 ’18-’19 Taurus models need to be issued out first.

Legislative Committee: No News.

Negotiations Committee: No News.

Home Association:

All board positions except Secretary are up for election this fall.

Members that are interested in running for office need to notify Secretary Harjes (info@mspta.com) before August 30thwith their intent to run for office, position they wish to run for and a short biography.

Voting Timeline

  • Deadline for being listed on Primary Ballot – August 30th
  • Primary Election window – September 16-29th(write-ins accepted)
  • Final Election window – October 14-27th(write-ins not accepted on final election, white ballots can be declared if only one candidate running for office)

New Business:

3200: None

3100: None

2900: None

2800: POST Board Changes from last year – Where is the board at with those changes?
President: That information was publicized through an e-mail through MPPOA.

2700: None

2600: None

2500: None

2400: None

2300: None

2200: None

2100: Metal Hat Hanger – contact Trp Travis Boettl. $10/each

2000: None

North: None

South: None

V.P.: None

Secretary: None

Treasurer: None

President: None

Motion to adjourn at 1535 hours. Motion by 2000 Hanson, seconded by 2700 Carlson:  CARRIED

Upcoming Events/Dates:

  • 2019 Retired Troopers Day – August 6th, 2019 – St. Cloud, MN
  • Equipment Committee Meeting – Sept 26th, 2019 – St. Cloud, MN
  • Fall National Troopers Coalition Conference – September 23rd, 24th& 25th
  • Fall Executive Council Meeting – October 1st, 2019, St. Cloud, MN
  • Winter Executive Council Meeting – Jan 7-8th, 2020 – TBD
  • Spring Executive Council Meeting – April 7th, 2020 – TBD
  • Summer Executive Council Meeting – July 7th, 2020 – Tower, MN
  • MSPTA Golf Tournament July 8th-9th, 2020 – Tower, MN
  • 2020 Retired Troopers Day – August 4th, 2020 – St. Cloud, MN
  • Fall Executive Council Meeting – Oct 6th, 2020- TBD

This content is restricted to existing members. If you are an existing user, please log in. New users may register below.

Existing Users Log In
New User Registration
*Required field