Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training
The Minnesota POST Board (Peace Officer Standards and Training Board) establishes law enforcement licensing and training requirements and sets standards for law enforcement agencies and officers throughout the state. Training includes defensive tactics, report writing, ethics, traffic enforcement, crime scene investigation, community policing, defensive driving and maneuvers. Beginning in 2018, by state statute, police officers also must complete continuing education in crisis intervention and mental illness crises; as well as conflict management and mediation. Officers now are trained to recognize implicit bias and to value community diversity and cultural differences.
While the POST Board always had the potential to make significant state-wide changes in police licensing and training, in the past it has not taken a very active role. Community advocates and academics have criticized the POST Board, which is largely made up of law enforcement personnel, for its lack of action in holding officers accountable and failure to address questions of racism in policing. Current Chair Kelly McCarthy, Mendota Heights Chief of Police, has acknowledged the POST Board’s past failures and is committed to its improvement.
Partly in response to the George Floyd tragedy, the legislature established The Ensuring Police Excellence and Improving Community Relations Advisory Council during the 2020 2nd Special Session. (A 2021 proposal in the house would change its name to the POST Citizen Council.) The Council is to assist the POST board in maintaining policies and regulating peace officers in a manner that ensures the protection of civil and human rights and promotes positive interactions between peace officers and the community.
NOTE: This new Advisory Council offers opportunities for citizen involvement. Citizens may contact the Advisory Council with their own proposals or concerns. If citizen proposals are passed by the Advisory Council, the full POST Board must consider them. The Council’s meetings are open to the public. See Meeting notices, agendas and notes.
In 2020 the POST Board engaged the International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training (IADLEST) to conduct an audit of Minnesota POST Board functions and make recommendations for change.
On December 28, 2020, the POST Board signed with Benchmark Analytics out of Chicago for development of a “use of force” database. Benchmark has been developing software for use of force reporting at the municipal level for several years. They have applied use of force tracking software in New Jersey and developed training tracking software for POST Boards in Colorado and New Hampshire.
Minnesota wants the complaint reporting database up and running by July 1, 2021, when agencies are required by statute to begin reporting this data in real time. The second phase of the project (carrying over into the second half of 2021) will focus on development of the training tracking/assessment portion of the new mandates.
On April 22, 2021, POST decided to pursue new rules for law enforcement responses to protests and a ban on officers affiliating with white supremacist groups.
Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training
1600 University Avenue, #200
St Paul, MN 55104-3825
Telephone: (651) 201-7789
Break the cycle: Five changes in Minnesota policing that can be enacted right now, Gina Erickson, Sarah Greenman, Jillian Peterson, and Shelly Schaefer, MinnPost, June 2, 2020
Minnesota police licensing board at center of push to build trust in law enforcement, Star Tribune, July 30, 2020
Police reform: Here’s a different model for officer discipline, Steve Timmer, MinnPost, August 5, 2020.
Proposed Charter Amendments
Press articles, scholarly articles, reports and studies
Glossary of terms and definitions