PDF Minutes available here.
President Dellwo called the July 7th, 2020 meeting to order at 0805 hours.
Present were: President Dellwo, Vice President LeDoux, North Braaten, South Miles, Secretary Harjes, Treasurer Berglund, 2000 Phillips, 2100 Zynda, 2200 Dellwo, 2300 Veldkamp, 2400 Cederstrom, 2500 Miakkula, 2600 Beasley, 2700 Carlson, 2800 Weinrich, 2900 Hanson, 3100 Pearson and 3200 Danielson.
Absent – Business Manager Baker
Motion to accept the April minutes: Motion by South Delegate Miles, Seconded by North Delegate Braaten:CARRIED
1000: Colonel Langer and Major Erickson arrived
The world has changed in 2020 with COVID, civil unrest and criminal justice reform all contributing to altering the landscape. We had to regrettably move away from our mission of traffic safety to assist with the civil unrest, with there being no one else to call. I am unbelievably impressed with what the State Patrol did during the civil unrest. We have a lot to be proud of during the deployment. I can’t control where the “thank you” messages come from. I will never forget what we put our people into during this time. Thank you.
President follow-up: How did it become to be us in charge and how did it work in the operations center (MAC)?
CHQ: We had the largest resource available and a strong voice at the unified command table. We work well with other agencies, but agencies like Minneapolis depend on themselves and sometimes do not work well with other agencies. There is a lot of misinformation out there.
President follow-up: Is it true Minneapolis doesn’t have a mobile response team?
The written commendation provided to Troopers deployed is the most formal recognition that can go in everyone’s file. I appreciate the sacrifices made so far this summer during the deployment and those on MRT.
Special Session starts the week of July 12th. We’ve got tremendous support in the Senate and House.
There will be two compensation studies performed. One through the legislative auditor’s office to be completed by Jan 1, 2021, and the other one performed by MMB (timeline unknown).
Be smart and careful about what you post on social media. The repercussions of what is posted will most likely have career ending consequences. The agency isn’t able to defend you if you post something that shouldn’t be on there. Not everyone you are friends with on social networks are with you.
Questions for the Chief
3200: Morale and comradery seemed to be very good throughout this deployment and I was impressed with it.
3100: In future deployments, I would like to see some of the options available to us at the time will still be available in the future, such as disabling vehicles, etc.
2900: During the district visits, could the districts have time with you without the supervisors?
CHQ: I would be interested in having a sidebar with you, but not cutting the supervisors out of the room during the visit.
2800: What’s going to be the State Patrol’s role during the trial and verdict of the case?
CHQ: I don’t know. I’d like to say we’ll never go back again, but hopefully not be in a position where we need to do an all call again.
2800: How many Troopers were injured during the unrest?
CHQ: 41 Troopers.
2800: How many people were arrested?
CHQ: A bit difficult to say with any certainty across all of the metropolitan area, but we show 366 made by the State Patrol (arrests/citations). 224 of those were on May 31st.
2800: Can we get a different color mask?
2800: What can you tell us about the Christopher Columbus statue coming down?
CHQ: There was no conspiracy theory behind it. The truth is you have Troopers ready to deploy from within the Capitol and we had a Plan A with an event that was supposed to start in Minneapolis but had to move to a plan B when that changed but were unable to shift to plan B fast enough. As quickly as all that happened, the statute went down.
2700: When something like the civil unrest happens again, will there be a plan to mitigate the burnout and fatigue that happened right away during the initial stages of the deployment?
CHQ: I’d love to say it’ll never happen again, but we didn’t have enough people at the time.
2700: Is there any talk about an incumbent school?
CHQ: Not right now.
2600: There has been some unacceptable time delays (30+ day response) when dealing with Chris Johnson on important items such as long term disability, PPL and other issues – what’s the reason this?
CHQ: There are some new candidates that are applying for the soon to be vacated HR director job, and I need to get this information to the right person to handle these on a timely basis, you’re right, it is her only job.
2500: I think everyone deployed was doing the best job they could when they were down in the cities. However, some supervisors were not capable of leading Troopers during the riots, is there training for those lieutenants to better perform their MRT roles?
CHQ: I don’t disagree with anything you said. We need to work on all of the skills, and we will have to learn from it.
2500: There are alternate ways to obtain a tactical uniform if needed such as forgoing an annual uniform allowance with most of us having closets full of new uniforms shirts and trousers, etc.
CHQ: I understand.
2400: Are we steering more towards the community outreach piece vs the traffic safety piece? The messages coming through state e-mail (moments of silence, etc) seem out of place.
CHQ: The structure at DPS has been very different than it has in the past with an additional assistant commissioner. I can’t control any of that. I will control what I can control.
2300: During this COVID pandemic, is Fall CIST 100% happening, and if it is, how will combatives be conducted to safely protect everyone involved?
CHQ: We need to have Fall CIST. We are looking at all the current mandates and going to implement them to have a safe Fall CIST.
2200: What is our role now after the civil unrest in Minneapolis?
CHQ: I want as little of a role in that city as we can. It’s not our mission to support the city with protecting businesses or providing security for events. With that said, we will be there if there is no one else to call.
Vice president – I would disagree with not supporting Minneapolis in other roles such as contracted services. Providing security at sporting events would provide an opportunity for positive public relations and potentially help with recruitment in our agency.
CHQ: I’m trying to balance it as well. Look at the Twins, all their events are all during the summer and during the evenings. How many Troopers would it take to make the commitment?
2100: Back in the early days of COVID in March and April, it was implied that activity wouldn’t be an issue, but it doesn’t seem that unwritten view ever filtered down to the districts.
CHQ: There’s no doubt it’s going to have an impact on activity, but let’s be reasonable about it. If you need to, please talk to your lieutenant to talk about the situation and be open about it. We can’t deny everything that has happened recently.
2100: In the June 10th Grapevine, there was a box breathing article talking about the “murder” of George Floyd. With us working in a law enforcement agency, many members took offense to that statement.
CHQ: We missed that part of article before we sent it out to the agency.
2100: Troopers are concerned on how to understand the “spirit” of pursuit policy.
CHQ: If you have a specific scenario, let’s take it offline.
2100: Are you going to support the men and women in the field if they act within policy and the bounds of the law when a media event is created out of the outcome of a situation?
CHQ: The day that I cannot appropriately defend members of this agency is the day I need to find something else to do. I haven’t reached that point yet.
2100: Could a training/tactical uniform be considered in the future?
CHQ: Yes, my vision of it would be a tactical uniform that could then be used for training purposes, but basically an all-encompassing tactical uniform. It would be a significant cost.
President follow-up: We all agree that a tactical uniform would be well received by the agency. We would hope that the fear of anyone that would wear an issued tactical uniform, outside of any policy developed, such as for a regular duty day would be addressed individually, instead of punishing the entire agency by not investing in this valuable piece of equipment.
2000: Are body cameras in the future for 4600 Troopers and Security Officers?
CHQ: I’m with you, but I need to find the money to fund it. It’s on the list of things to do once we have the money. I want to make it happen everywhere in our agency.
President follow-up: I hear there are federal level bills to equip all police officers in the country with body cameras.
CHQ: There is talk about it at the federal level. We have the support of everyone in state government, but it comes down to the funding.
VP follow-up: Since we don’t have body cameras, have we considered equipping some troopers with video cameras during civil unrest to document the situation in the future?
CHQ: We will be ordering a recognizable front patch with an offset “State Patrol” lettering to be more identifiable when equipped with the turtle suit.
2000 follow-up: Why are badge numbers in the front of the riot gear helmets? Can they be removed from the front and placed in the back?
CHQ: I will take that to the Captain’s meeting and we’ll take it under consideration.
2000 follow-up: Having we considered a tactical uniform for use under the turtle suit?
CHQ: There’s many things that I’d like to do in the wake of this, but again, it comes down to money.
2000: How many Troopers took the lieutenants test and passed?
CHQ: 89 took the exam and 47 passed. Of those who took the exam, 43 had 5-10 years of seniority, 20 had 11-15 years of seniority, 17 had 16-20 years of seniority and 9 had 21+ years of seniority
2000: Are instructors in districts being dictated by what the training center says for hours worked at Ripley?
CHQ: We can’t build overtime into people’s schedule for the sole purpose of padding people’s paychecks. In a case like driving up and driving home on the same day, the training center has the authority to adjust when those instructors are up there. This would include scheduling to drive up the day prior and spending the night, to avoid building large amounts of scheduled comp time into a Trooper’s schedule.
South follow-up: This conversation has been going on for years. I get it, some Troopers come back with extra comp time, but at the same time, they earned the time off being away from their families while helping provide the best possible training at Camp Ripley.
CHQ: We can bring it up at the Captain’s meeting. We want support of training, but we have to be careful of leaving the station short for the beat Troopers, so there is a balance, but room for improvement.
North: T-Mobile provides free service to first responders; it could be a significant cost savings to the agency with free service.
CHQ: I can bring it up with the Department of Admin.
North: Will there be anti-body testing for those deployed in Minneapolis? How will contact tracing work in our agency if a Trooper gets COVID?
CHQ: The high-level process for a confirmed COVID case in our agency is to take the following steps, which can be subject to change depending on the situation.
- Supervisor lets us know that there is a confirmed or suspected case.
- HR or Lynn Mueller start contact tracing to determine which employees may have had close contact.
- Employees with close contact are notified to quarantine.
- Other employees may receive an email template explaining that DPS cannot share any details, but DPS has taken steps to address the situations and clean any affected areas.
South: There was a few hiccups in the beginning of the deployment, but overall went very well.
South: The litigation hold notices seem to be very vague, are they supposed to be like that?
CHQ: I can have Mellissa Eberhart clarify those when they come out. We don’t like sending those out agency wide.
Secretary: No Questions
Treasurer: No Questions
Vice-President: Good job and thank you for the decompression day. I would ask in the future that it is mandatory. It took most troopers around a week to get back to “normal” after the event.
Vice-President: Thank you for correcting the payroll issues during the civil unrest. We are not aware of a single issue associated with payroll during the deployment.
Vice-President: In your conversations about academy funding, please keep in mind that the wage disparity issue is also equally important to our troopers in the field.
Vice-President: Regarding the lieutenant test, we’ve lost a great deal of excellent candidates that won’t take the test again. With nearly a 50% fail rate, the test needs to take a hard look at the content and move to a job knowledge exam.
President: Where are we at with the academy? What is the current start date?
CHQ: We’re dependent on the money if it comes through the special session. If we obtain funding, we’re looking at a March 22nd, 2021 start date.
President: We are disappointed the commissioner has not written an article for the Troopers Magazine, it’s a missed opportunity. It’s a great way for him to reach our members. It’s beyond disappointing that neither Governor Walz or Commissioner Harrington have formally thanked the Patrol and the Troopers for our civil unrest work under extremely difficult conditions.
CHQ: I’ve written every one of my magazine articles and will own the spelling errors in them.
Recognize 2500 District Delegate Eric Maikkula for his time on the board and discussion over District 2500 replacement.
There will be a 3-hour vacation draw on pay period ending on 9/15/2020.
Presentation by Dave Titus and Jake Ayers, both candidates for MPPOA President to be voted on this fall.
Rescheduled Summer Conference, October 2-4, 2020 – Plymouth, MN. Attendees: Harjes, J. Dellwo, Pearson, Carlson, LeDoux, Braaten, Veldkamp, K. Dellwo, Phillips, Cederstrom & Miles.
POST Board Update
Pilar Stier passed the background and will take over the POST Board assignment at the end of July.
Treasurers report: Treasurer Berglund presented the budget report to the Board. Motion to approve the budget report. Motion by South Delegate Miles, Seconded by Delegate Veldkamp: CARRIED
Magazine: No updates, not present. Magazine will not be available online anymore to the general public. August 31st will be the deadline for articles for the fall magazine.
Grievance: New attorney will be taking on our disciplinary cases due to the shifts in business with the civil unrest in Minneapolis. Currently interviewing attorneys for this task. This is separate from bargaining with the MLEA.
Pension/Retirement: YTD rate of return is 4.2% – it is better than I thought it would be, still below what is expected, but better than anticipated with COVID.
- Tactical uniforms, lots of feedback brought to the table
- 2019 Taurus’s have all been issued out
- Chargers to be issued out starting in August
- Less vehicles may be purchased due to less funds available with COVID
- Additional 4RE, LIDAR mand portable radio units purchased.
We have been monitoring police reform debates during the special session and committee hearings that have been taking place.
- Watch your pursuits and understand that it will be subjectively evaluated and stay within policy.
- Watch what you post on social media.
- Always tell the truth during an investigation!
Citizen contact numbers (including traffic stops, crashes, stalls, 49ers) – State Patrol had just shy of 900,000 contacts over the last two years. In that same time period, we had 24 Internal Affair citizen generated complaints. Of those 24, nine involved race or protect class, 2 of those 24 complaints were sustained.
In the last 10 years, 6 Troopers have been terminated. 1 of those 6 went to arbitration the other 5 were settled. However, that one case was not overturned in arbitration, meaning the Trooper still remained terminated.
One of the negotiation committee members stated, “This (proposed) contract is the best we can get, but it’s also the worst we could get.”
Ratification vote will be done electronically. Please make sure your e-mail address is up to date, if you haven’t been receiving e-mails, please update on the Trooper’s Association Website. (Trooper’s Only > Address Update)
Motion to purchase more 250 more MSPTA double post lapel pins. Motion by South Delegate Miles, Seconded by Delegate Carlson: CARRIED
President: I am now 56 years old and have decided to retire this Fall. My last meeting will be October 6. I will continue to work to the best of my ability until my last day. It has been a real honor to lead this fine institution.
Motion to adjourn at 1555 hours. Motion by 2700, seconded by 2600: CARRIED
- Retired Troopers Day – August 4th, 2020 – St. Cloud, MN – CANCELLED DUE TO COVID-19
- Ted Foss Golf Tournament – August 31st, 2020
- Tim Bowe 2.0 Golf Tournament – September 18th, 2020 – Anoka, MN
- MPPOA Conference (rescheduled from Summer) – October 2nd – 4th, 2020 – Plymouth, MN
- Equipment Committee – October 5th, 2020 – St. Cloud, MN
- Fall Executive Council Meeting – October 6th, 2020 – St. Cloud, MN
- Winter Executive Council Meeting – Jan 5th & Jan 6th, 2021 – Duluth, MN
- Wishes & More – February 13th, 2021 – Minneapolis, MN
- Spring Executive Council Meeting – April 6th, 2021 – St. Cloud, MN
- Summer Executive Council Meeting – July 13th, 2021 – Tower, MN
- MSPTA Golf Tournament – July 14th – July 15th, 2021 – Tower, MN
- Retired Troopers Day – August 3rd, 2021 – St. Cloud, MN
- Fall Executive Council Meeting – October 5th, 2021 – St. Cloud, MN
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