The PDF copy of the minutes are available here.
President Dellwo called the October 1st, 2019 meeting to order at 0801 hours.
Present were: President Dellwo, Vice President LeDoux, North Delegate Braaten, South Delegate Miles, Secretary Harjes, Treasurer Berglund, 2000 Grothem, 2100 Zynda, 2200 Dellwo, 2300 Larsen, 2400 Theel, 2500 Miakkula, 2600 Beasley, 2700 Carlson, 2800 Otterson (Alternate), 2900 Hanson, 3100 Pearson, 3200 Millette (Alternate), Business Manager Baker.
Absent Delegates – Delegate Weinrich (2800), Delegate Danielson (3200)
Pledge of Allegiance recited by board
Moment of silence taken for 2019 Line of Duty Deaths – 92 deaths this year as of meeting.
Motion to accept the July 2019 minutes: Motion by 2000, Seconded by 2900: CARRIED
1000: Colonel Langer and Lt Col. Schrofer arrived
The Chief is out of options for the comp study and he doesn’t like to say that. He has found himself with commissioners of MMB and Public Safety. Commissioner Harrington has been very frustrated that it hasn’t moved along either and is helping carry the water. He isn’t in charge of it and is doing the best he can to move it along. He shares our frustration and wants to get it done. In light of tentative agreements with ASFCME and MAPE, he doesn’t know what the timeline is for us, and knows that MLEA isn’t interested in collective bargaining the economic portion of a contract until the compensation study is done. He doesn’t like the idea of the situation needs to get worse before it gets better. The State Patrol doesn’t even know what this study will cost.
2700 Follow-up: I had heard that Metro Transit conducts a yearly compensation study, is this something we can look at to keep that data updated on a yearly basis?
CHQ: He doesn’t have any issue with looking at a yearly compensation update but doesn’t know if there are others in government with that willingness.
President Follow-up: MMB is in my sights 24 hours a day. They haven’t gotten anything done on our compensation study. There have been constant personnel changes at MMB and it seems as the agency in constant turmoil.
CHQ: I’ll continue to advocate with Commissioner Harrington that nothing is moving along at this point.
President Follow-up: Please continue to do that, inaction is not an option.
2100 Follow-up: Do you perceive honesty and sincerity in the responses and communication from MMB and the DPS?
CHQ: Colonel senses that there is a high level belief in MMB that in their hearts, they believe there is no issue with our contract. The previous negotiator had a husband that retired from MPD and at least had a law enforcement sense to her.
2600 Follow-up: With the initial meet and confer, we agreed to add additional comparable cities to the compensation study. We submitted that agreement to MMB shortly after our first meeting in early August. There has been no response. Another example of a failure of MMB to communicate is after weeks of silence, they failed to inform us that the lead negotiator was changed shortly after our first meeting in early August.
CHQ: This was a big move by MLEA to agree to add those cities into the study. It sounds like October 24th and 25th dates fell apart on MLEA’s side?
President Follow-up: MLEA set second dates for the compensation study but never heard back from MMB on if they would work.
CHQ: So, the October 24th and 25th did work for MLEA?
2600 Follow-up: Yes, it appears you’ve heard different information.
CHQ: I don’t know if anything that has progressed since the first meet and confer meeting in August. What you get from me is honesty, and I don’t know what else to say. I thank you for how you are handling the process and the situation. You are being smart about how you are proceeding.
There is energy behind mental health by our Deputy Commissioner for mental health check-ups. We’ve got contract language we would need to work through, location challenges, numerous contract vendors, etc. We have lots of work to do if we’d like to go this route. A physical fitness standard/incentive would have to be done through collective bargaining. We are a different animal than different agencies. The collaborative working group on officer involved shootings is taking a hard look at officer mental health and physical health. There is nothing coming or planned, but it comes up in talks much more frequently as of recently.
We had our first discussion about the updated strategic plan with Judy Plant and our strategic plan yesterday. Talked about the future and having structured the planning differently from years past. We’re putting together the plan by meeting with internal and external groups. We will have separate internal groups representing CVI’s, Dispatchers, Support Staff and Troopers. Everyone will contribute to this plan. External groups including select Chiefs, FMCSA, Commissioner’s office, and other groups. Our plan is to complete the plan in early 2020. I don’t believe there will be drastic change, but changes will be made. Now is the time that we need that plan more than ever to plant our flag and show what we are doing as an agency.
We owe it to each other to take care of each other and take care of ourselves.
Questions for the Chief
3200: No Questions
3100: We haven’t had a meaningful deployment in a while, but with the previous administration we at least knew we had the support of everyone up to the governor. When deployed under the new administration will we have the full support of everyone up to the governor?
CHQ: I’m not putting you in a position where your job is in more jeopardy than my job. It’s incredibly complicated. Colonel has a weekly conference on Line 3 developments. We’re on the brink of devoting State Patrol resources full time to civil disobedience. Sheriff’s Offices don’t have the staff to handle these situations, and the reality is we will get called up to these incidents. There will more Troopers involved in this than not, no one in our agency will be immune. All Troopers will be outfitted in turtle suits. We’ve been talking about political rules of engagement, de-escalation and other responses to incidents. The colonel isn’t going to put you in a position where you don’t have the clear direction of a State Patrol supervisor or incident commander. National Guard is also involved in Line 3 planning.
2900: No questions
2800: We are getting constant questions about the compensation study/bargaining process.
2800: Does any money come from Enbridge?
CHQ: Yes, there is a Trust account to compensate local agencies for costs associated with this construction. We would attempt to get reimbursed through local agencies for services we render. We don’t have any money allocated to do this. Enbridge is pretty sure they are going to complete this project, but this is a project that will be pushed back but not rushed through. One thing we miss with all this the regular work that will be going on with the pipeline workers and related support in these communities.
2700: Can we get a detailed report on Trooper ranks (Road Troopers to specialty Tech Sgt positions) from today and back in time to see how those numbers have changed from year to year.
CHQ: I can send you this comparison from 2008 to compare with today. We all know that the number of Troopers working the road has not grown and specialty positions have increased from years past. I’d like to have more Troopers like everyone else. The problem is getting the support and the money to go along with it.
Vice-President Follow-up: Would we be wise to start tracking those numbers? I’m deathly afraid that mentally and physically that someone will eventually get hurt as a result of low staffing in stations.
CHQ: There is no disagreement on this. We need the support to go for it and the money for it. This isn’t a budget year. I would expect Commissioner Harrington will expect us to put forward a growth model for how many Troopers we need and improving the service levels.
2700 Follow-up: This next session, even though it is not a budget year, are you going to put forward a supplemental budget plan?
CHQ: The Colonel has put everything forward regarding a supplemental budget plan for this next session. There is great support for a supplemental budget, but nothing is concrete.
2600: Nothing we haven’t already discussed.
2500: Do you ever foresee us getting body cams for the road trooper? In light of this recent St. Paul video incident, it’s important for us to capture what happens out on the road.
CHQ: Yes. Because we have to. There is no way you could articulate what happened in the St Paul video in a report. I believe they are in our future with this day in age. Purchasing the equipment is a nonissue, it costs a lot of money to pay for the extra support staff needed to take care of data requests, managing the data, etc. We can’t just support this in our budget and will have to be taken care of legislatively. I appreciate you asking this question. We need to get moving on this and get the money.
2400: A 4700 Metro Trooper wondering about what their role would be in pipeline protests?
CHQ: I don’t know. I don’t think anyone in our agency will be immune from the effects of the pipeline. We still don’t know when, and we have a sense of where some of the challenge points will be, but we don’t know.
2400: DNR and BCA starting to qualify their retirees with their weapon.
CHQ: I believe the DNR & BCA have always has done this. I have liability concerns with it. There is a liability piece that comes with this as well. It’s not a means if they can’t do it, but more of a convenience involved with it. I don’t have an interest in starting to do that.
2400: At session 3 CIST – A few Majors and Captains got a 6 pack house and everyone else was staying in the billet. Does the cost difference between the hotel/billets play into CIST planning?
CHQ: I’ll ask. No, it’s entirely Camp Ripley.
2400: Troopers are frustrated with the lack of support from MMB.
2300: What does it cost to put on an in service? Members think it would be more effective to hold a district IST instead.
CHQ: It’s money well spent, but very expensive. We don’t get the continuity of training and consistency during the training. We also need to utilize the track during EVOC training as well. Spring in-service training will be back in the districts.
2300: A dispatcher put in CAD comments that a driving complaint was aired, but it was never aired.
CHQ: Do you have a specific time, date or location on an event? I can bring it up with Tim Boyer and would love to see what happened with an individual call.
2200: Will we be getting high gloss tourniquet holsters?
2200: Has there been any talk of staffing or asking for volunteers for Line 3 instead of being forced?
CHQ: We’re not on that stage of planning it. It’s not going to be run on a volunteer basis. It’s too big of an operation that will be going on for too long. It’s going to be programmed and we’re going to be involved for a very long time in this project.
2200: With President Trump’s visit coming up on October 10th, is there any potential for protests, planning for this event?
CHQ: We’re working on our role right now in this.
2100: Nothing that hasn’t been covered yet.
2000: I’m concerned with the 4600 Troopers that don’t have the protection of a body camera during their daily shifts. Those Troopers are already more at a disadvantage with a potential incident and hostile media environment on law enforcement. If I worked there I would incredibly nervous as well.
CHQ: I appreciate the comments.
North: Are there certain criteria guidelines for Chief’s Commendation awards?
CHQ: There are guidelines out there, knowing that a one size doesn’t fit all for these types of nominations.
President Follow-up: The lack of nominations for the larger awards is disappointing, for example Trooper of the Year and Civilian of the Year. There have been some comments from Troopers and even Supervisors regarding the lack of nominees for these awards. We don’t want to nominate people just to nominate them, but you’d think with how big our agency is, we would have someone from every district.
CHQ: I agree with you, we should have a handful of people to choose from, and it should be a tough decision to make.
South: I heard the Substance Abuse class quality has been going up and down. Everyone supports the idea behind it. Was the class vetted ahead of time? The timing of this class was not ideal either – being the last class of CIST.
CHQ: It was vetted vigorously after Week 1, but I would have liked it to be vetted before we first presented it. It’s tough having no control over what person Hazelton sends every week, but we have been helping direct the presenters on a weekly basis.
Secretary: No questions
Treasurer: The listening sessions that happened around the state and the mixed messages we received from the initial e-mails – how are they going, has anything becoming of them? What about the attendance levels?
CHQ: The Colonel had input in crafting the internal message to help work for us, but the external message was written completely different. Some places no one attended the meeting. I think you could count on two hands the amount of people that attended all statewide meetings that weren’t on a government payroll. I trust what we do, we’re hiring the right people, the values we operate by, etc, but we’ll see what the final report says. I am spreading the good news of what we do on a daily basis to everyone involved.
Vice-President Follow-up: In Duluth, an off-duty Trooper and the former Deputy Police Chief of Duluth attended the Duluth listening session. I realize it was a directive from above the State Patrol, but what value is coming from it when no one outside of government or only media shows up at these meetings?
CHQ: I had a very blunt conversation with the contractor doing these sessions, but it’s very rare they will say we are doing everything right…something will happen as a result of it. It’s well known in the State Patrol that no one shows up to these. When there is a problem – people show up, when there isn’t, no one shows up. There is round 2 of these listening sessions are coming in 2020.
Vice-President: I saw the Assistant Commissioner went out to the listening sessions. Are there any plans for him to get out in the field and talk with our members or come to this meeting? I also saw his concerns with the lack of people taking and passing the POST exams, do they have a plan on how they are going to address that issue?
CHQ: I did give him the in-service schedule. I think we could figure out how to get him to the January meeting. I have not seen a plan for that licensing issue.
Vice-President: The social media issues that pop up and how groups are monitoring social media outlets for cops that have caused nothing but problems and can be a career ender for Troopers.
CHQ: It’s easy to get complacent, and I’ve read about these groups that do this. We can look at something such as the Grapevine as a reminder.
Vice-President: I know we do the retirement seminar, but I’ve had people come up to me and advise me that they were unaware of the many options available to them as troopers such as the Roth 457 etc. New troopers seem to listen to troopers over the MSRS representatives so it would be nice if we could incorporate some type of education component into CIST and educate troopers earlier in their career.
CHQ: A part of wellness is financial health as well. A hard part for our agency is how to find someone that can talk on the subject, but not trying to sell a product. It would be cool if Troopers knew there was a finance article in the Trooper’s magazine and have a dedicated article regarding finances.
Vice-President: We haven’t had a follow up to our recruitment meeting in 2016.
CHQ: Yes, I’ll make a note. The rowing idea came from that meeting.
Vice-President: As part of the retirement seminar, I get a list of the people at the age of 50 or older. Do you have an idea who is going to be eligible for retirement in the next 5 years?
CHQ: It’s much harder to predict now than it used to be. We look about 18-24 months out to plan the budget. We can do some internal looking as well.
Vice-President: For the January meeting – Could you bring the number of non-retirement separations in 2019?
President: The Commissioner hasn’t written for the past three Trooper magazines since he has taken office. It’s a lost opportunity for the Commissioner to reach the readers of the magazine.
CHQ: We’ll visit offline about this; I do not know what the issue is.
Retired Troopers Day went well. Would like to see all delegates participate in the event in 2020.
It is the last Executive Council meeting with Delegate Grothem and Delegate Larsen. A big thank you to Dean and Dana for the service on the MSPTA.
- Governor Walz didn’t move on expired POST terms, so two board members were automatically reappointed another term.
- MSPTA will eventually need to put forward a name to serve on the POST board to replace Mark Fahning when the time comes.
- Recap on the National Troopers Conference in Michigan at the end of September.
- President Dellwo and Vice President LeDoux presented the state of our state (agency, association, legislative) to other state agencies in attendance.
- Discipline as a result of social media is common across other agencies and have cost other Troopers their jobs. It’s in your best interest to not discuss or post work related items on any social media platform.
Special Guest – Retired Trooper Curt Thurmes
2020 MSPTA Golf Tournament – 35th Anniversary of the Tournament
Date: July 8th & 9th, 2020
Location: “The Wilderness” at Fortune Bay in Tower, MN
Details: One of the top 3 golf courses in the state
Cost: $130 cost per person for the tournament.
MSPTA board was given a presentation on the MPPOA by new Executive Director Brian Peters.
- Discussion over the Legal Defense Fund dues increase.
- Dues are going from $52 to $152 on January 1st, 2020.
- Numerous high-profile legal cases in the pipeline could potentially bankrupt the LDF system in the coming year
- This dues increase will protect the LDF in the coming years and inflate the reserves to hopefully avoid this issue in the future.
- Overall discussion on the change and transparency in direction at the MPPOA.
Board Discussion of LDF
A lengthy discussion around the dues increase with the points talked points below.
- MSPTA board agreed that a dues increase will be necessary to pay for the LDF coverage for members.
- MSPTA will be incurring an additional cost of $54,600 to pay for the LDF dues increase.
- The last time our dues were increased was in 2009. We went from $13.50 to $16.00 per pay period.
- Discussion revolved around the final dollar amount increase and the financial impact to members.
- Comparable Minnesota Police Associations were considered as well during discussion
- LELS – $51 per month ($612 per year)
- MPD – $90 per month (1.25% of Top Patrol Wage) ($1,080 per year)
- SPPD – $62 per month for Officers & $58 per month for dispatchers. ($744 & $696)
- MSP – $16 per pay period ($416 per year)
- DNR – $27 per pay period – ($702 per year)
- HCSO – $30 per pay period – ($780 per year)
- Duluth PD – $51 per month ($612 per year)
- Bloomington PD – $46 per month ($552 per year)
- BCA – $17.63 per pay period. ($458.38 per year)
LDF Coverage Example
- An Executive Council member has benefitted from LDF benefits twice. The board member stated that if you do the math and pay $152/per year for a 32-year career, you will pay $4864 for that legal insurance. In a typical legal defense case, that dollar amount may not even cover the retainer costs for the attorney, and you would be on the hook for the rest to cover your legal defense.
- That board member wants members to consider the financial & emotional impact that would have in your life if you were ever involved in an incident involving high legal costs and you did not have that insurance coverage.
A motion was made to continue to be a member of MPPOA and continue to contribute to LDF on member’s behalf indefinitely.
Motioned by Delegate Grothem (2000), seconded by Delegate Theel (2400): CARRIED
A motion to increase dues by $10 per pay period to $26 on the first paycheck in January 2020. An amendment to the motion was made by Delegate Theel (2400) to lower that increase to $9 per period.
Motioned by Delegate Theel (2400), seconded by Delegate Hanson (2900): CARRIED
Yearly meeting coming up with Hiway Federal Credit Union to check in on investments.
Treasurer Berglund presented the budget report to the board.
Motion to approve the budget report. Motioned by Delegate Grothem (2000), seconded by Delegate Beasley (2600): CARRIED
- October magazine will be hitting mailboxes soon
- Good content in this magazine
- Current magazine and future issues are available digitally on the website.
- Reminder that photos will be taken of the new 2020 board in January.
- January 1st deadline for articles
- 2700 & South will contribute articles.
Contact your District Delegate if you plan on retiring soon to get information on the Retired Safety Officer Insurance premium.
MSRS brought up exploring dropping the vesting period again after we just bumped it up. Overall consensus was that it will stay at 10 years.
- Old flare company back in business
- Still have Ford sedans to be issued
- Dodge will only have a V6 AWD option in 2021. (V8 option will only be RWD)
- Additional radar units have been ordered
- Moratorium on some equipment purchases due to budget
- Dodge Charger window laminate causes a slight distortion at certain angles, seat adjustment should remedy it.
- Dodge’s have a mechanism to release doors in the event of a crash/power loss
- Mold testing in 2500 DO.
President Dellwo and Vice President LeDoux have been invited to a meeting later in October with Governor Walz. This will be our chance to express the lack of progress on the growing wage disparity between troopers and our allied agencies with Governor Walz.
- The next legislative session will begin in February 2020.
- The MSPTA will continue to have a strong presence at the Capitol this next session.
- We intend to remain active at the Capitol pushing for our compensation.
- Possible Commissioner’s agenda items next session:
- Wants to change law to allow crash reports to be used in prosecution.
- Do away with the white copy citizen crash report.
- A meet and confer meeting was held in August. MMB suggested some additional comparable cities for the comp study. MLEA agreed to add some but MMB has not responded to us.
- MMB changed the lead negotiator…again, without notifying MLEA.
- President Dellwo contacted the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner to express frustrations about the level of competency and the lack of professionalism with MMB and encouraged them to use whatever influence they have to get negotiations moving. Both Commissioners responded they will go to MMB again.
- MMB has not agreed to any additional meeting dates as of yet. We have proposed dates, but no meeting dates have been set. We will advise the members when they are set.
- MLEA has filed for meditation through the MN State Bureau of Mediation Services to legally force MMB to the table.
- MLEA has no plans to bargain economics (salary) of the new contract until the compensation study is complete.
- 24 IA’s have been held this year so far in 2019.
- Members should be reminded to not falsify any documents.
- Common themes from off duty incidents have involved alcohol and poor decision making.
- White ballots have been declared for all positions except for the 2500 Delegate.
- 2500 will have two candidates on the ballot (Eric Maikkula and Mark Lund).
- Ballots will come out to 2500 members in mid-October.
- New delegates elected into office were Kelly Phillips (2000) and Rob Veldkamp (2300).
- All others elected are incumbents.
- 201 votes were cast out of 547 members.
Board agreed to discontinue the pocket calendar and use that money and invest in a mobile application for Android and Apple.
The MSPTA Mobile application will provide an event calendar, delegate contact information, MSPTA information, latest magazine, address update forms and meeting minutes. The application will have the ability to push notifications to users. The app also has the built-in potential to include voting through the app. It is expected to be ready by the end of the year. This mobile platform has been used by other large police association with great success.
2600: Pipeline related discussion on the potential for the Commissioner to declare a state of emergency, which would null and void our contract during the emergency period declaration. What does it mean?
President Follow-up: No 21-day rule and preapproved vacations will be cancelled. Doesn’t impact federal labor law laws on overtime pay, etc.
2400: Ted Foss Tournament coming up in 2020 in Winona – 20th year. We need to get more Troopers involved.
2300: Two instructors were denied comp time after instructing at IST.
Follow-up: Delegate Larsen checked, and they were outside of the deadline to grieve.
2000: Overall concerns regarding the number of 4600 drivers needing to be on duty.
Motion to adjourn at 1635 hours. Motion by Delegate 2700, seconded by Delegate 2400: CARRIED
- October 10th, 2019 – LELS Union Steward Training – Brooklyn Center, MN
- January 7th – 8th, 2020 – Winter Executive Council Meeting – Duluth, MN
- February 1st, 2020 – Wishes & More Event – Minneapolis, MN
- March 8th-11th, 2020 – NTC Spring Conference – San Antonio, TX
- April 7th, 2020 – Spring Executive Council Meeting – St. Cloud, MN
- July 7th, 2020 – Summer Executive Council Meeting – Tower, MN
- July 8th – 9th, 2020 – 35th Annual Golf Tournament – Tower, MN
- August 4th, 2020 – Retired Troopers Day – St. Cloud, MN
- October 6th, 2020 – Fall Executive Council Meeting – St. Cloud, MN
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