Minnesota Senate Votes to Ensure Minnesota Law Enforcement Has Resources to Keep the Public Safe—Establishes LEO Account

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. 

“Minnesota law enforcement officers across the state have always worked together to keep our citizens safe,” said Senator Eric Pratt (R-Prior Lake). “This bill simply ensures that law enforcement has the resources on hand to support themselves this spring. By passing this bill today, the Senate is demonstrating a commitment to public safety for Minnesotans across the entire state.”

The LEO Account will be funded with a $20 million appropriation from the General Fund, and 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 an emergency 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.  

“This bill will make sure resources are available and deployed to the areas in need so that our officers can work towards the preservation of life, safety, and property,” continued Senator Pratt. “Minnesotans deserve to feel safe, and we have a responsibility to step in and make sure our citizens and officers remain safe through times of turmoil.”