President Dellwo called the October 6th, 2020 meeting to order at 0805 hours.
Board members recited the Pledge of Allegiance.
Present were: President Dellwo, Vice President LeDoux, North Braaten, South Theel, Secretary Harjes, Treasurer Berglund, 2000 Phillips, 2100 Zynda, 2200 Dellwo, 2300 Veldkamp, 2400 Cederstrom, 2500 Hansen, 2600 Beasley, 2700 Carlson, 2800 Weinrich, 2900 Hanson, 3100 Pearson, 3200 Danielson, Business Manager Baker.
Absent – None
Motion to accept the July meeting minutes: Motion by 2900, Seconded by 2600: CARRIED
1008: Colonel Langer and Lt Col. Schrofer arrived
We still have budget issues.
We are still spending considerable amounts of money on MRT deployments and civil unrest. Weekly MRT deployments will continue to happen. There are numerous planned or upcoming events that could turn into potential unrest.
We have been able to avoid our involvement in issues relating to homeless encampment areas in the metro area.
We have staffing issues that are compounded by not having an academy.
I am concerned with the state budget deficit and how that will impact our ability to move forward and what we can ask for in the future.
We are looking at body cameras. It will cost us an estimated $6 million a year.
Line 3 planning is still happening.
MPD is getting trained soon on Mobile Field Force and will receive equipment soon.
Next special session will be Monday, October 12th.
Discussion on mask wearing and increasing mask usage within the agency. CHQ is receiving numerous complaints on Troopers not wearing masks.
Questions for the Chief
3200: No questions
3100: When we lose a member, do you do exit interviews? Are there things that we can change to retain some of these people?
CHQ: I always have made it a habit of reaching out, with the exception one of recent separation. Honestly no, it’s not my job to talk them out of it. It’s usually a blend of reasons for their departure. If they have a passion for doing other types of law enforcement, they should go pursue that. I think we will see some additional turnover in the next few years. There isn’t a common theme I can fix.
3100: On MRT, we have these white short buses, we need to get them looked at for obvious safety issues.
CHQ: We are looking at an agreement between multiple state agencies, to make permanent procedures for arrest buses and transport buses which includes the maintenance of those buses and equipment.
CHQ follow-up: We are working to secure ownership of these vehicles for MRT purposes. That process is not complete, yet. We had each of the vehicles inspected. Those inspections did not yield any out of service or safety violations. However, there are routine maintenance and some repairs that will need to be made as we look to retain these vehicles.
2900: No questions
2800: What is the standard on travel time on callout time when sent to the cities? If you’re on vacation, away from home, and told to respond instantly, when does your pay start?
CHQ: We’ve never paid you to drive your own car to respond to a call out. It’s on your own to respond to get to your squad car. We can’t go down the road of the going 10-8 when you respond to the event. We could toy with the idea of setting some response criteria (like what to do if you’re out of state, etc), but honestly, I think we’re better off without it and handling it on a case by case basis.
President follow-up: I’m three hours away from home. Would I get start getting paid the minute I respond to that call?
CHQ: No. I think it brings up a host of liability issues. State government is not going to pay that transit time.
2800: If we have a Trooper that cannot make it to a call out, what is the response?
CHQ: It would be on a case by case basis. There can be extremely legitimate reasons for a person not to respond to a call out event. Reach out to your supervisor and have that conversation with them.
Vice-president follow-up: I would hope we look at it on a case by case basis.
2800: Will there be transfers with no academy?
CHQ: I’m not opposed to it, but it’s tricky. We’re never really sure where the shortages would be after such transfers. The message to the Captains has been, if you have a critical need, we’ll look at it on a case by case basis.
2800: Will Troopers have their own hotel room during that blackout period next March with us having time to plan?
CHQ: Major Sokol has been working on a possible secure military lodging facility near the airport that would eliminate the need for contract hotels. We’ll do the best we can with the lodging and food to keep it as good as possible.
2800: How many Troopers have we lost in the last 12 months? How many Troopers are out on PTSD? Minneapolis has reported their numbers.
CHQ: I will get that data for you. We haven’t experienced anything remotely similar to the Minneapolis reported PTSD leaves of absence.
CHQ follow-up: 19 retirements, 12 left for other employment or do not plan to work, 6 left for other reasons (medical, discipline, etc.)
2700 follow-up: We asked Jason Amborn for the injury counts sustained from the unrest.
CHQ: The vast majority of injuries were very minor.
2800: What are you going to do to help us adjust wages when these studies come out?
CHQ: When I sit and think about what else I can do to help with this issue, I think about what else I can do. I don’t know what we’re supposed to do to get that contract settled or get wages adjusted. We need to use those two upcoming studies and have that comprehensive data showing the pay issue. We do have legislative support. There is a budget deficit in the state, we cancelled the academy and we face internal budget issues.
Vice-president follow-up: Have you heard from the Commissioners and others above you regarding the contract rejection? Were they shocked that the contract was voted down?
CHQ: Not shocked, but concerned and disappointed that it did not pass. I think it is fair to say MMB really wanted it to pass as well.
President follow-up: It just shows that we have no faith in the state’s collective bargaining process anymore. My biggest fear is that these studies are going to be completed, with data supporting our cause, and MMB is going to say it’s unfortunate to be you. I believe the only way this will get fixed is legislatively.
CHQ: I don’t disagree with that point of view. Those compensation studies are tools for mediation and for bargaining. That’s the long game. We are a lot better off having those studies.
Vice-President follow-up: Another frustrating point is they come up with money when they want to. Corrections received a two-grid adjustment for an attrition rate greater than what we are experiencing. We need to have an academy. Body cameras are an absolute need, and not a want anymore. If we able to get support to get funding for those items, but not take care of our people, it will be disastrous. MMB always uses the full complement when reporting numbers relating to attrition, instead of the bargaining unit where the issues are occurring.
CHQ: I think the MMB reported data is MLEA members only and doesn’t include supervisors.
Vice-President follow-up: I had the opportunity to sit in on a conference call with the vendor (compensation study), and they have narrowed down the group down to 20 cities instead of the historic Stanton group plus the major city additions (Minneapolis, St Paul, Bemidji, Rochester, etc).
CHQ: During my meeting with the vendor, they didn’t give me the list of comparatives, but I recommended the Stanton group along with the additions of a few major cities across the state. I felt a very favorable impression after my meeting with the vendor regarding the direction they are going with the study.
Vice-President follow-up: It did concern me that they were deviating from the Stanton group that MLEA agreed to, after extensive meetings regarding the study and which has been used for years as our comparison group.
CHQ, Lt Col: During my meeting, I did voice our concern over the apparent difference in the comparative group, but it was pretty clear that they wouldn’t be using the group that negotiations had originally agreed upon.
2600 follow-up: Could you get the list of the 20 agencies the vendor is using for the comp study?
CHQ follow-up: I asked MMB which 20 agencies we will be compared against for the comp study being completed by Segal Consulting, and why the number is 20. MMB responded that the number 20 was presented by Segal in their response to the RFP as the number of agencies they would use for comparison.
MMB follow-up response to CHQ: “Following the kick-off meeting in August, Segal has been working to develop a peer group of 20 cities to survey for the compensation study, as per the process they identified in their proposal in response to the RFP. After the 1:1 interviews with management and MLEA, Segal’s analysis to identify where our employees are located, analysis to define the relative labor market, and reviews of the Stanton 5 (and other proposed peer groups), the final list of cities include: ”
|Apple Valley||Dakota||MSP Metro Area|
|St. Louis Park||Hennepin|
The identified peer group above represents the cities that Segal has selected as most appropriate for comparison to the state’s positions.
2800: What are we doing to keep the stations full and address the staffing shortages?
CHQ: We’ve been here before. We’ve always gotten through it. We need to stay positive and stay focused until we get that next academy. I think many other law enforcement agencies are in the same boat or will be in the same boat in the future. We’re down two positions at 4600, we’re dragging our feet on filling them. I know 4700 will have positions they need to fill and we’ll drag our feet on filling those positions as well. We are trying to fill these positions as slowly as possible. It’s not an easy solution to fix.
2800: Why are MRT members not wearing their tactical uniform to deployments?
CHQ: I leave that up to the discretion of the Captain in charge of the deployment. There is a time and place for the regular duty uniform and the tactical uniform.
2800: Are you concerned with the well-being of the current tech sergeants, the turn-over of the past tech sergeants and the leadership at the Training Center? What are you going to do to change it?
CHQ: Yes. We need to have our training programs be flagship programs and people to be there for the right reasons. We haven’t had the right tech sergeants take the positions for the right reasons. We also haven’t had the right supervisors in the training center to lead those tech sergeants to get those programs where they need to be and that’s been a challenge. There’s a lot of room for improvement that falls on the shoulders of leadership within the training center but that also includes the tech sergeants being leaders in the programs they are involved in. We don’t have a blind eye for some of the challenges there. Major Erickson has been deeply involved with the training center and has had numerous discussions about where we need to be in the training center.
2700: What are we doing with encrypted radios?
CHQ: All the new radios (squad and portable) we’re buying will be encrypted. It will be a while before they are all transitioned out through attrition.
2700: I’ve brought up nasal airways numerous times at equipment meetings, why haven’t we been issued them?
CHQ follow-up: We are seeking guidance from North regarding nasal airways, but this will be a low priority on our equipment needs list.
2600: Regarding deployments, for Troopers on the farther end of being able to drive home, have been told they can’t drive home and must stay at the hotel. If the whole purpose of keeping people in downtown is for a quick response, and not being able to drive home, should these deployed Troopers be getting on call pay?
CHQ: I’ve had a few conversations with the Captains about this. I am concerned with driving behavior on the drive home, such as getting jammed up for driving too fast on the way home or falling asleep at the wheel.
2500: What would be the position of the agency if what happened in Minneapolis happened to a State Trooper?
CHQ: We’ve all thought about that exact scenario. I believe in procedural justice and that process. I can’t tell you that is never going to happen, but we all have bosses. I am going to take comfort in the fact that as well-trained State Troopers, that situation would have had a different outcome.
2500: Regarding the TraCS pursuit form and the form approval process there is a checkbox on the bottom that indicates if a pursuit was out of policy. Is that data being tracked anywhere?
CHQ: We’re failing as leaders if we allow Troopers to have multiple policy violations. We’ve never had that form requested for information. That particular form doesn’t go anywhere near your personnel file.
2400: No questions.
2300: What two of the top reasons for people leaving?
CHQ: They want to do something other than be a State Trooper. It is the top reason that I hear. Some other reasons I’ve heard is that they are wanting to pursue different areas in law enforcement, changing life circumstances and things like that.
2200: For clarification, that West Command you mentioned, is that separate from Minneapolis Police Department mobile field force plan? Will our role be lessened as the backup once these teams are in place?
CHQ: MPD is being trained in MFF tactics for their own teams. Other agencies will be also be involved in that training. The West Command being developed, will not include Minneapolis officers. I hope we will be last on the list to call once those teams are in place.
2200 follow-up: East Command, is that the St Paul side of things I’m assuming?
CHQ: Yes, including Dakota County.
2200: How spread thin are we going to be if we’re dealing with issues in Minneapolis and the pipeline occurring at the same time?
CHQ: One of the many things I think about frequently.
President follow-up: Do you have an Line 3 updates?
CHQ: Constant conversation is happening, but nothing really new to share right now.
2100: Is there a way an unfounded IA investigation can be stricken from the record?
CHQ: No there is no a way to remove that from an employee’s record. The rules revolve around state statute. I can defend all day long an investigation that was exonerated.
2100: Will we be able to access any reimbursement funds for what occurred in Minneapolis? Is there a way to fast track or prioritize purchases of some of these necessities we could use equipment-wise? For example, the tactical uniform.
CHQ: That’s one thing I don’t worry about at all is receiving reimbursement funds. I don’t think a reimbursement is coming, if it does, I’d be shocked. Legislative action would be the most likely source of any reimbursement funds. We have had access to some COVID19 funds, but nothing game changing for us. We always have a current list with equipment needs that we need to purchase, and that list is changing and reprioritized based on current needs. Big ticket items are more complicated to acquire.
2000: Is it possible to look at the COVID19 policy updates with kids being back in school and more frequently getting sick or being able to utilize the COVID19 time for those instances?
CHQ: MMB handles this policy with little to no input from agency heads. I haven’t heard anything specifically on that since the policy was last revised.
2000: Are you aware of the group Hennepin County is putting together for MFF response?
CHQ: Yes, it will be called West Command and it includes a whole bunch of politics involved in the creation of this county led MRT response team.
2000: The Tech Sergeants in the Training Center do not earn drive time except for one. With the position description, who can change that? Could it be changed?
CHQ: I have to be convinced why that drive time is of value to the program being built under that tech sergeant. This is a good opportunity for a sidebar. If we work on drivetime, everyone will be upset. If you’re commuting to a fixed work site, there should not be drive time.
North: No questions.
South: Has there been any talk of grants relating to MRT equipment purchases or upgrades? Is there a drone available for use in MRT deployments?
CHQ: We have a drone policy I’m trying to get the commissioner to sign off and move forward on relating to crash investigation. I don’t know how I feel about drones relating to MRT. Relating to other MRT equipment, this is a brand-new thing for us and we’re working through it. I don’t know if there is grant money out there for these types of purchases.
Secretary: No Questions
Treasurer: No Questions
Vice-President: No Questions
President: It’s been an honor to work with you Colonel and Lt Colonel. The door has always been open for us.
CHQ: The way the association has approached issues we’ve worked through or legislative initiatives has been classy and positive. Congratulations on your retirement!
End of Chief’s Time
- Senator Howe made an appearance and spoke to the group about legislative matters.
- Presentation to the board from Thrivent Financial. John Stanger willing to do presentations for your district meetings.
- Former South Delegate Pat Miles presented Joe with a retirement gift.
- New legal counsel for the MSPTA is now in place.
- Wishes & More – Troopers made a wish appearance in 3100 for a terminally ill child.
- National Troopers Coalition will give Michelle Fischbach an endorsement for her run for office.
- Wills for Heroes (https://www.mnbar.org/about-msba/related-organizations/wills-for-heroes) does free will writing for Law Enforcement & Fire professionals. Delegates should consider inviting them to your meeting.
- Vice President LeDoux will call an election for the Vice President and the Treasurer position upon Joe’s retirement.
- Fall conference was cancelled.
- Most likely no legislative conference in February.
- Elections for MPPOA board members will be in June 2021 at the summer conference.
Treasurer Berglund announced his intent to retire next year. His seat will be vacated in January 2021. After discussing on the transition, it was decided that the new Treasurer-elect would be sworn in at the January 2021 meeting to transition the legal financial documents of the association.
Budget report was presented to board. Our association is in healthy shape. With COVID this year, we’ve had significant savings. Motion to approve the budget report by 2900 Delegate Hanson, seconded by 2700 Delegate Carlson. CARRIED
New legal counsel willing to write articles for our magazine
Motion to use blue smoke civil unrest photo on cover of our magazine and pay Getty Images $750. Motion by South Delegate Theel, seconded by 2900 Delegate Hanson. CARRIED
Grievance: Nothing new to report.
Year to date returns are coming back as the market comes back.
- Laser film for visors on riot gear helmet ordered.
- Winter stocking hat is out, working on a different vendor.
- Flex cuff cutters ordered for supervisors.
- Fleet purchase recap
- 50 Marked Chargers
- 20 Marked Utility
- 20 Marked Tahoe’s for K9s
- 9 Marked Tahoe’s for 4700
- 5 Marked Utilities for 4700
- FIT testing on hold until 2021
- Glock flashlights and holsters were brought up again.
There are no updates to legislative initiatives.
- All Troopers shall follow policy regarding driver’s license violations.
- Be sure your camera is working and on.
- Continue to be smart about what you post on social media.
- Do not undock your laptop to disable GPS.
- We do not enforce civil vehicle rental agreements.
- Discussion about the rejected contract.
- MLEA Team is still waiting for dates from MMB to meet again in mediation.
- 2100 Delegate Todd Zynda replaced Pat Miles on the MLEA Negotiation Team.
- Vice President LeDoux will appoint an alternate member upon moving into the President position.
- Need to have 7 voting members on MLEA and 1 alternate member.
Classic vehicles weren’t used very frequently this summer due to COVID. They may need some new tires next summer.
With no Retired Troopers Day this year due to COVID, retirement plaques were distributed to district delegates to distribute to the recent retirees.
Voting standards and procedure rules moving forward.
- Notify members of open position by Constant Contact.
- 1 week filing period from e-mail send date to notify Secretary and President of intent to run for position.
- A maximum of 2 candidates on the general ballot.
Secretary will present updated voting bylaws at January meeting for review.
Joint Labor/Management update
- Increased medical rates for 2021
- New vision plan, 100% employee sponsored
- Virgin Pulse point structure will have some modifications for the 2021 year to earn your $70 deductible credit.
Future discussion point brought to table for JLM negotiations regarding medical insurance after you retire when you have a spouse that is employed by the state and covered under insurance as well.
2800: Motion to send a board representative to an upcoming legislative event in Pequot Lakes. Motion by 2800 Delegate Weinrich, seconded by 2900 Delegate Hanson. CARRIED
Secretary: Will resume work on the MSPTA mobile app during the winter months.
President: President’s farewell speech to the board. Board presented President Dellwo a retirement gift.
Motion to adjourn at 1600 hours. Motion by 2700 Delegate Carlson, seconded by 2000 Delegate Phillips: CARRIED
- 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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