A state commission put together in response to the police shootings of Philando Castile and Jamar Clark has now made its recommendations on how to improve trust between officers and the communities they serve.
More police training, more diverse departments, and more data on race are among the suggestions in Friday's report from the Governor's Council on Law Enforcement and Community Relations.
The full report is 30 pages and you can read it here.
Gov. Mark Dayton pulled the panel together last October, with representatives from police groups, prosecutors, faith organizations, the NAACP, and the YWCA among its 15 voting members.
Some of the recommendations
The commission doesn't have the power to make any new rules. Instead, its suggestions go to Dayton and the Legislature for their consideration. Those include:
– Give officers more training about cultural bias and responding to mental health crises. (This year's Legislature set aside $12 million for that kind of training.)
– Recruit more racial minorities and women into law enforcement, including reimbursing departments that have "pathway to policing" programs to draw people from non-traditional backgrounds.
– Keep data on the races of people involved in police interactions.
– Provide financial incentives for officers to live in the communities they serve.
– When there's a criminal investigation of an officer, have a special prosecutor work with the county attorney's office on the case.
Approval not unanimous
The final report was actually endorsed by fewer than half of the commission's 15 voting members, the Pioneer Press reports. Six members either skipped this week's meeting or abstained.
The plan passed 6 to 3, with the no votes coming from representatives of sheriffs, police officers, and county attorneys groups, the newspaper says.
Anoka County Attorney told them he supported most of what's in the report but found the call for special prosecutors problematic.
Gov. Dayton released the commission's final report Friday, thanking members for their work and adding: "It is essential that Minnesota’s law enforcement and criminal justice systems work for all Minnesotans, including both our law enforcement officers and the communities they bravely serve."