PDF copy of minutes

President LeDoux called the October 4th, 2022, meeting to order at 0800 hours.

Present were President LeDoux, Vice President Beasley, North Weinrich, South Theel, Secretary Harjes, Treasurer Orpen, 2000 Phillips, 2100 Zynda (Alternate), 2200 Dellwo, 2300 Larsen, 2400 Cederstrom, 2500 Hanson, 2600 McClure, 2700 McGrew, 2900 Hanson, 3100 Pearson, 3200 Robertson (Alternate), Business Manager Baker.

Absent were 2100 Bormann, 2800 Johnson and 3200 Danielson.

Pledge of allegiance

Moment of silence for fallen officers

Moment of silence for Denny Olson (past MSPTA President)

Motion to accept the July 2022 minutes:  Motion by 2400 Delegate Cederstrom, seconded by 2900 Delegate Hanson: CARRIED

Chief’s time:

1000:  Colonel Langer and Lt Col. Schrofer arrived

43 ETSO (Experience Traffic Safety Office/66th Academy) applicants – 25 followed through to interview process, 23 progressed after the interview phase with the traffic safety qualifications. There is remarkable experience in that group but very little diversity.

78 applications for the 67th Academy and around 56 have scheduled interviews and PT testing.

35 cadets still in the 65th Academy that will graduate on October 25th.

The expense of these academies is significant but hiring in smaller batches is the environment right now.

The women’s recruitment event (30 by 30) was last Friday and was very successful with good energy. I’m interested how we can use their ideas to help with recruiting. We’re going to keep pushing on the recruitment front.

With the Critical Incident General Order, the current language with video review doesn’t work with the BCA environment. The model that we’re looking at will clarify the language when it involves a trooper that is the subject of an investigation (shooting, pursuit, death, etc.), it will give that trooper the option to provide a statement or a report (at their discretion), before having access to view the video. Once the video is viewed, then will the option to provide a clarifying statement or report. There are a lot of dynamics involved in the update of this General Order.

The pursuit decision making has been phenomenal. With the pursuits in the metro, we have done incredible work with flight and good decision making.

Nothing has changed in Minneapolis for Operation Endeavor. I don’t think we have the resources they are looking for with the work they want to do with Operation Endeavor.

Lieutenant Martinek is coming in today to do a presentation today on squads getting hit roadside. This presentation will be shared with the agency soon. He dove deep into the data looking at videos and reports every time a trooper was hit roadside. We have work that we can do to keep troopers safe on the side of the road and need to do everything possible. This will be the start of this conversation. I appreciate any feedback.

I am asking for your help on the 30 by 30 event. If you look at some of the research out there, women communicate and empathize differently. Any organization benefits from diversity in the group with different viewpoints and it’s a good thing. Having diversity in our organization makes us stronger. We need to keep hiring people and we know it’s not easy to hire right now. We need to focus on the underrepresented groups to try to increase our applicant pool and increasing our ranks. We made some mistakes along the way as an organization which were well intended but don’t need to be repeated. I think it makes sense for us to look at those pools of candidates.
North follow-up: My own personal experience from back in ‘93 when I tried to apply, the state patrol set a precedence at the time that you couldn’t be POST eligible to try to hire minorities at the time.
CHQ: We made mistakes along the way as an organization. The vision forward isn’t totally clear, but it is recognizing the well-intended at the time, mistakes we made in the past.
South follow-up: What’s the percentage of female leaders in the organization right now and then can we showcase that there are supervisory opportunities for these groups?
CHQ: It’s about 10% among the Trooper rank and supervisory ranks. Nationally, police agencies are about 7% in their organizations.
North follow-up: How is the military so successful with diversity recruitment?
CHQ: They are struggling as well. They aren’t going to meet their recruitment quotas this year.

We are searching for a new HR director. Hopefully by the end of the week we’ll have a new person named to that position. We have a complex business compared to other state agencies.

We are still struggling with internal affairs investigations and working to get those cleared up. We’re trying to push as much back to the district as possible after consulting with IA. We’ve done all we can do by going to the commissioner’s office. We’ve tried posting positions that remain unfilled. This timeline piece of investigations has been going on for around 10 years. We’ll keep pushing at it.
President follow-up: I couldn’t agree more. There was a period where things seemed to improve, but now it seems to have gotten worse. I don’t have a problem with it being handled at the district level. Anything that we can do to reduce the anxiety of the members involved in these investigations is good.
North follow-up: What are we waiting for in most of these cases and making the final decision?
CHQ: We can’t act until we get the summary from IA, which is compiled based upon the investigator’s findings. IA makes a recommendation, but the final result comes from CHQ. There is no recommendation on discipline in the summary report.

The work that Troopers are doing is really good. I’m happy with the energy and vibe in the organization. I appreciate the positive compliments.

Questions for the Chief

3200: No questions

3100: No questions

2900: No questions

2800: Not present

2700: No questions

2600: The two ETSO’s that didn’t make the cut, do they have to reapply or are they being transferred over to the next process?
CHQ: The logic with the timeline as it is, is that we can transfer them over the 67th timeline.
2600 follow-up: Is there any ideas out there to have continuous application period and have our dates set well in advance?
CHQ: It’s a good question that has been talked about for a long time. I’m open to trying it. The other side of the conversation is that even when we have a finite application period, it’s often about 50% of the applicants don’t show for the PT testing or interviews. I’m not so sure the rolling application period would yield more people staying in the process. I struggle with what we gain from it unless I’m missing something.
2600 follow-up: I’m not thinking between you and me, but like a planner type person would appreciate the longer-term window to plan for that process. What does it hurt, if we lose so many people in the finite window, to try an open application window?
President follow-up: If you go on the POST website, you’ll see numerous examples of it. If we could pick up two additional people we wouldn’t have had from the other, finite process, it’s a good move. I would suggest we task someone to reach out to those agencies that have open hiring periods to see if it’s worth it.

2500: I’ve had troopers have some troubles with the person in charge (Kathy Schaefer) of removing files, and this person telling the trooper that they are too busy to remove it or not acting on or responding to the e-mail.
CHQ: It’s not too hard of an ask to do your job. That is very frustrating, and I am enraged by this.

2500: A couple of troopers brought this up is that we don’t have the ability to work some other special overtime details such as sporting events.
CHQ: Typically, it’s a commitment that we must provide X troopers during specific timeframe. It’s about looking out for the whole organization. My anxiety is once you start, it’s hard to say no or back out. They are going to want us all the time. We know we aren’t getting out of the State Fair, but we can’t do it all.
2500 follow-up: Is it possible to test the waters?
CHQ: I’ll continue to make those decisions the best I can. If there are opportunities that benefit the people involved and the organization, I’ll look at it. Right now, we’re doing some stuff I want to get out of as fast as I can.

2500: Has there ever been talk of a utilizing a CSO position for taking non-emergency calls in the metro?
CHQ: Years ago, Joe Dellwo tried to hijack the FIRST units into the state patrol and it didn’t go anywhere. The FIRST program is essentially a CSO program. Drawing them closer to the organization is a conversation I don’t think is going to go anywhere.

2400: How long is the promotion to a 4600 driver or a temporary assignment, when in the past we’ve had an interview process to fill those positions?
CHQ: There’s not a hard fast rule. We can do whatever we need to do there.
2400 follow-up: How does the temporary assignment of an individual to a promotional position add validity to the process?
CHQ: When it comes to executive protection, we must do what we need to do to be successful. I am going to own the decisions made there since it is very important to the organization.
2400 follow-up: What special qualifications did that trooper have that afforded him the opportunity?
CHQ: I’m going to own the decisions that were made there.

2300: No questions

2200: No questions

2100: Troopers were wondering if they could get updated ID cards? Is there some opportunity to get an official Class A photograph done as well?
CHQ: We could explore updating those ID cards next CIST for everyone, but I’ll have to think that through. If they need to update due to being worn out, those can be handled through your district supervisor who can pass the request over to Julie Stahl.

2100: There are some instructors that are getting burned out being up at Camp Ripley all the time. A suggestion would be to have a cadre of instructors assigned to the Training Center to provide consistency and avoid having to do a week here and a week there and to provide some stability in the district.
CHQ: We’re asking a lot from instructors. I don’t have a great answer. Having two academies a year is twice the work for everyone. If people in this room that have been instructors for a long time have ideas, we have ideas to be better or more efficient, I’m open to it.
Vice-president follow-up: Let’s not forget about the people left behind in the district. We have a lot of troopers getting tired right now working below minimums, etc.

2100: Is there a policy to not allow Troopers to participate in local agency active shooter training? The verbiage and tactics used during the Lourdes High School event was foreign to the responding troopers since they had been invited in the past and told not to participate in the active shooter training.
CHQ: Not that I’m aware of. The big picture I have no clue what would happen legislatively, but there should be a larger statewide initiative to define roles and responsibilities to learn from previous events. We’re looking at what equipment a trooper would need to be involved in an active shooter scenario in our legislative package. I’d like to hear a little bit on a sidebar about what happened with the training element in the district.
President follow-up: Correct me if I’m wrong, but are there some ballistic capabilities of the issued helmet?
CHQ: I think ours aren’t rated for anything above a handgun round. I think they are rated IIIA.
CHQ follow-up: They are rated IIIA.
2600 follow-up: I just want to make it clear that I don’t care how much something weighs if it protects me.
2300 follow-up: What kind of equipment are we looking at?
CHQ: I think our biggest deficiency is body armor and it seems to be the direction that is possibly be identified and considered. We have a budget placeholder to talk about something like that along those lines.
President follow-up: I know there is a charity that has provided vests to some of our members, and when it comes to weight, I’m not concerned with how much something weighs during an active shooter incident, and I’ll put that vest on and hope it does its job.

2100: There is a county in the southern part of the state (Freeborn) that is experiencing extraordinary manpower issues. They are considering going down to 20 hours of coverage per day. What does it mean for us?
CHQ: That’s a slippery slope if it’s a sheriff’s office. There are going to be some consolidations happening. There are some things that I’d like to change and clarify in 299D, but it’s better left alone.

2000: No questions

North: No questions

South: A trooper thought the lieutenant test (the AAI portion of the exam) was biased against folks that don’t speak English as their primary language.
CHQ: I’ll ask the vendor that question.
CHQ follow-up: AAI asserts that there is not a disparate impact, and that extra time is not needed for ESL test-takers.

South: With the legislative session coming up here in January, are you going to be in support of our bill that makes MMB use the current OLA study?
CHQ: It makes no sense to not use the current OLA study. Our salary issues are in the metro. Another 5-10%, roughly, is probably what’s needed to be in the running to be at the average in the metro.

Secretary: I’m curious why we don’t auction off forfeited firearms, like the DNR does, instead of shredding them?
CHQ: The DNR has a little bit different thought process on this, but I don’t want that gun to be used illegally again in the future.

Treasurer: No questions

Vice-President: Discussion on a wrong way driver event in St. Cloud that resulted in a head on crash with a trooper and the parameters of stopping a wrong way driver. There is a trend around the country where law enforcement officers have made the news in stopping vehicles by going head on with them. I don’t want us to develop a culture where we think it’s ok to stop a driver in that fashion. There is a perception that troopers don’t believe they can go the wrong way on a roadway in a severe and imminent danger situation. The general thought is that our policy prohibits us from pursuing a driver down a one-way street in every scenario. Our policy does not prohibit us from going the wrong way to enact a PIT on a scenario we had last week, this was a severe and imminent threat. I think there are a lot of troopers in our agency that don’t think that is an option.
CHQ: We had a lot of conversation during the pursuit policy revamp on this subject. We trust our people to make good decisions. I don’t think anything in policy prohibits it explicitly by design in this case. Wrong way drivers have been a huge problem across the country. I’d much rather have a trooper try to do something than watch something bad happen.
2600 follow-up: Are we going to get people jammed up if they are making those decisions?
CHQ: No. There is nothing good that is going to come from a wrong way driver. It doesn’t fit perfectly. You are your best advocate to be narrating your decision making on camera in a situation like this.

Vice-President: Twelve days after a major and captain came to a resolution on the issue of the residency for a TDS technical sergeant, there was a blind copied e-mail that was sent out to a limited group of applicants for the TDS lieutenant position regarding residency at Camp Ripley. It was sent to an unknown number of promotional candidates but not to all promotional candidates. I also know several troopers on the lieutenant’s list that knew they didn’t qualify due to residency and elected to not put in for the promotion, but this e-mail would have at least started a discussion on putting in for the position. Why is the captain sending out an e-mail like this to a limited number of people?
CHQ: I didn’t get that e-mail and it’s the first I’ve heard of it and cannot defend anything in that e-mail. The way I have explained when it comes to residency, is that I don’t like to solve hypothetical questions. I don’t want to be involved in the process for determining who puts in based upon residency. I don’t want to have that conversation. I clearly have some follow-up to do on that e-mail.
Vice-president follow-up: On the promotional memos there is a clause that you are expected to take a position if offered it and that turns people away from the process due to the unknowns with residency.
CHQ: I hear what you are saying. The rationale is multi-faceted. That statement was intended to stop people from taking up the seven interview spots from people that wanted to take a promotional position for the right reasons. We’ve toyed with removing that language. It’s not perfect but it’s there from lessons learned.
President: I was very disappointed to see that e-mail and if there was ever poor timing on something, this is it.
CHQ: The timing was not great on the e-mail.
President follow-up: Is the interview process still only accepting seven candidates with the seventh possibly being a tie to include 8 candidates to interview? If there are 10 great people that want to put in, why aren’t we interviewing all 10? I think it has merit to look at the processes that determine the supervisors of this organization. I also think we’ve lost great people due to portions of the lieutenant exam.
CHQ: There is an argument that could be made to say what difference does it make and just do it, to interview all the interested candidates.

President: I appreciate the ETSO academy and the work that has been done on that.

President: I compliment you on the deployment of the smartphones and the body cams.

President: We’re going to lose 147 members in the next 5 years due to retirements. It’s scary.

President: Great training at CIST this year. I think moving forward, to minimize downtime at Camp Ripley, it would be nice to do firearms on our first night. It would be nice to have a working ice cream machine as well!

President: Are we looking at getting another short sleeve training shirt? One shirt gets heavily used at CIST and gets pretty gross by the end of it.

President: Thank for your support on our backpay and the challenges that we faced in getting it paid out correctly. Was the commissioner’s office aware of the issues? Our colleagues in the DNR had it worse than us. Hopefully some lessons have been learned.
CHQ: This is stuff that is unacceptable and is fixable. I don’t understand the workflow. I would love to sit in a room with HR, MMB and Domonica to figure out who messed it up.

President: The video review will be a significant change in our workflows when a trooper is involved in a critical incident, and I believe it is politically driven change.

CHQ: We’re doing really good work. I’m happy with what we’re doing and the organization. We all share in the success of the organization.

The board was presented the squad involved crash presentation by Lt Martinek and Major Erickson after Chief’s Time. The board recommended an in-person presentation vs an online rollout of the information.

Presidents Time

LELS Critical Incident Training coming up next week.

A reminder that a membership dues increase is starting in January 2023 to $30 per pay period from $25.

Discussion on the Legal Defense Fund and PORAC.

Federally there is slow movement on the Windfall Elimination Provision Act and improving that for people that have paid into Social Security prior to a law enforcement career.

Pursuits are not worth it. Be smart.

Health Care Savings Plan – Make sure you look at the contributions and know that there are other options outside of the money market.

Also be aware of the $400 match into deferred comp plan. Pre-tax and after-tax plans are available. Reach out to your district delegate if you have questions.

Treasurer’s report:  Treasurer Orpen presented the budget report. Budget is in good standing and some changes were made to reduce costs.

Discussion on the Minnesota 100 Club event donation and the cost of the event has increased to $2000 from the original motion made earlier in the year. Original donation amount will stand at $1000.

Magazine: It’s really important to get material for the magazine. The deadline for the magazine is January 1st, 2023. Any ideas or articles can be sent to Mark Baker (bbuck239@gmail.com). The folks that aren’t getting magazines typically don’t update their addresses with us. I’ve been working on cleaning up the mailing list with undeliverable magazines. Postage has gone up for mailing periodicals. We send out around 2000 copies with each magazine.

Equipment Committee:  No meeting has taken place yet.

Legislative Committee:

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.

Negotiations Committee: No news on the next bargaining timeline.

Home Association:

Motion to purchase 500 badge coins in a quantity for a price break. Motion by South Theel, seconded by 2300 Larsen: CARRIED

New Business:

3200: None

3100: None

2900: None

2800: None

2700: Delegate McGrew has been in contact with a vendor to create a decorative badge for members. If you’re interested, contact Delegate McGrew.
Motion to make a standard member hardship donation ($500) to an injured trooper in the district. Motion by South Delegate Theel, seconded by 2400 Delegate Cederstrom. CARRIED

2600: None

2500: None

2400: None

2300: None

2200: None

2100: None

2000: None

North: None

South: None

V.P.: None

Secretary: None

Treasurer: Discussion on the political contingency fund and increasing it from $1 per month per member. A change like this would require a change of the bylaws.

The meeting fund seems to be lower than needed with the cost of everything going up recently. Motion to increase the member amount to $30 per member from $25. Motion by 2400 Delegate Cederstrom, seconded by 3100 Delegate Pearson. CARRIED

President: None

Motion to adjourn at 1536 hours meeting. Motion by 2900 Delegate Hanson, seconded by South Delegate Theel:  CARRIED

Upcoming Dates:

  • MPPOA Critical Incident Training – October 11th and 12 – Brooklyn Park, MN
  • Winter Executive Council Meeting – January 11th & 12th, 2023 – Duluth, MN
  • Spring Executive Council Meeting – April 4th, 2023 – TBD
  • Summer Executive Council Meeting – July 11th, 2023 – TBD
  • MSPTA Golf Tournament – July 19th– July 20th, 2023 – Otter Tail, MN
  • Retired Trooper Day – August 1st, 2023 – St. Cloud, MN
  • Fall Executive Council Meeting – October 3rd, 2023 – TBD

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