Bob Kroll's wearing of uniform at political event subject of 'internal review' by MPD

A new policy enacted in October prohibited official police uniforms be worn during political appearances without approval.
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Bob Kroll

Lt. Bob Kroll, speaking at an event for Jason Lewis earlier this week.

Lt. Bob Kroll's appearance at a campaign event wearing full Minneapolis Police Department uniform is now the subject of an "internal review."

The controversial Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis president spoke at an event for Republican U.S. Senate candidate Jason Lewis this past week, and addressed supporters in his MPD uniform.

It comes after the department implemented a new policy last October prohibiting the wearing of police uniforms or police trademarks in political advertisements, or "in any other way that could lead a reasonable person to believe the MPD is endorsing a political party, candidate, or campaign."

When asked about Kroll's appearance at the Lewis campaign event, MPD spokesman John Elder said: "Any staff member that wears their uniform, outside of official security duties, at a political event without having it pre-approved is in violation of departmental policy."

When asked by BMTN whether Kroll breached that policy, Elder responded: "That is part of an internal review."

The policy was implemented last October, to objections from Kroll, ahead of the rally held by President Donald Trump at Target Center, at which Kroll was among the speakers.

Kroll complied at the Trump rally, sporting instead a "Cops for Trump" shirt that the Police Federation created in response to the new policy.

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Prior to this, he was also criticized in September 2018 by the Minnesota DFL after appearing at a rally for former U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen wearing full uniform, which the party argued was a violation of the Hatch Act that prohibits state and local officers from engaging in "partisan political activity."

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey also criticized Kroll in 2018 when he appeared in uniform along with several other officers as they endorsed then Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim Pawlenty.

BMTN reached out to the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis on Tuesday for comment as to whether Kroll breached department rules, and has yet to hear back.

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