5-day suspension for Mankato police director over part-time training errors

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The director of Mankato's Public Safety Department has been suspended following a probe into the licensing of part-time officers in the police department.

Todd Miller has been served with a 10-day suspension – five of which have been stayed for five years – after a settlement made with the Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards (POST), KSTP reports.

It concerned the department's use of part-time peace officers, following a decision last year made by the State of Minnesota to stop granting licenses for part-time officers.

According to the settlement, Miller took on 12 part-time officers just before licenses were outlawed, but an investigation found that he failed to train the officers on police pursuit tactics before they took their licensing exam.

And even though all the part-time officers got the training they needed in the end, it was not properly documented, which prompted a complaint to the training board from within Miller's own department.

A statement from Miller and City Manager Patrick Hentges shows that the decision to phase out part-time peace officers was not a popular one, with the City saying they have "played a crucial role complementing the work of its full-time officers for over 50 years."

The City spent almost $36,000 defending Miller, and notes that several other allegations made against him – including that he misrepresented the training provided to officers on their applications – were dropped.

"I take very seriously my reputation and my licensing, and my career," Miller told KEYC. "I worked for 42 years in public safety, 39 of them as a chief. It was a very hard pill for me to swallow, knowing that I did nothing wrong. There was nothing intentional in what we did."

"Our part-time officers did receive their training. They all did take the test," he told KSTP. "They all passed a very difficult test. And they were all given licenses by the POST Board, and they have continued to receive training."

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