(St. Paul, MN) On Monday, the Senate passed legislation funding the Law Enforcement Operations Account (LEO), securing resources for emergency law enforcement operations tied to extraordinary and unplanned emergency events. The resources can be accessed by state and local law enforcement following an emergency declaration or when the Minnesota State Patrol requests assistance for state properties, particularly the Minnesota Capitol.
“No matter where you live, Minnesotans deserve to have the confidence to believe that their elected government leaders are taking every available step to keep them safe and protect them from violence and unrest,” Senator Bill Weber (R-Luverne), chief author of the bill, said. “Today, the Senate is passing fair legislation that ensures Minnesota is prepared to provide adequate public safety and ensure the preservation of life, safety, and property.”
“Keeping the streets safe is what people expect from their government,” said Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R- East Gull Lake). “And in times of extraordinary need, law enforcement officers from across the state stepped up to keep us all safe. This bill puts safety first for every Minnesotan while supporting law enforcement with the resources they need.”
The Law Enforcement Operations Account will be funded with a $20 million appropriation from the General Fund. Applications for the funds can then be made by both tribal or local entities and are not exclusively limited to law enforcement. Fire services, emergency medical services, and other governmental operations can also apply for funding for their needs. Eligible costs include mutual aid, overtime, food, lodging, damaged or destroyed equipment, and emergency management costs. Jurisdictions experiencing the emergency are eligible for reimbursement up to 75% of their expenses and assisting jurisdictions can receive the full 100%.
Applicants have 90 days following the event to request funds. All applications will be reviewed by a five-member reimbursement panel consisting of the Commissioner of Public Safety, two sheriffs, and two police chiefs, who will evaluate the requests and make binding recommendations for reimbursement from the account.