Senate Passes Police Reforms

On the final day of the second special session, Senate Republicans passed a second portion of police reforms.

The agreed-upon legislation starts with 10 provisions originally supported by the Senate in the previous special session, and includes five additional major reforms to policing:

The first portion of police accountability measures, passed in June, included the following:

  • Continued funding for enhanced training for law enforcement officers in crisis intervention, cultural diversity, and mental illness.
  • Helping police officers deal with stress and trauma after critical incidents.
  • Expanding background checks for employees of law enforcement agencies.
  • Mandatory reporting of deadly force incidents to the BCA.
  • Banning chokeholds and neck restraints through a uniform policy on use of force.
  • Requiring a duty to intervene and report for officers on the scene of an excessive force incident.
  • Instructing officers to preserve the sanctity of life and use non-deadly force whenever possible.
  • Adding two new community members to the POST Board, appointed by the governor.
  • Adding four hours of mandatory autism training to the current 48 hours for each peace officer required every licensing cycle.
  • Clarifying the type of mental illness crisis training that is required with further detail in the statutory language.

Five additional reforms to policing passed this week:

  • Bans the use of “warrior” style training
  • POST Board membership changes to create the Ensuring Police Excellence and Improving Community Relations Advisory Council; adds a member from the public to the POST board Complaint Investigation Committee
  • Create a POST board database of public, anonymized peace officer data
  • Authorizes local municipalities to provide residency incentives for peace officers to live in the communities they serve
  • Establishes an independent investigatory unit in the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension

Senator Roger Chamberlain (R-Lino Lakes) commented, “Most Minnesota police departments are run with integrity. This bill enhances that integrity and provides consistency across the state.