League Positions on Public Safety
Administration of Justice and Law Enforcement
Police & Public Safety
Support of fair and adequate law enforcement for all people and support of measures to ensure equal justice for all persons regardless of race and socio-economic status.
- A Public Safety Department with the following attributes:
- Comprehensive public wellness approach to public safety
- Department head reports directly to the mayor
- Department head is nominated by the mayor and subject to approval by the city council
- Maintains the use of professional criteria in the process of selecting the chief of police
- Mayor and department head decide the structure, duties, responsibilities, and other operating matters of the department. The police chief, who may or may not be the department head, continues to oversee sworn officers and has primary input into decisions regarding structure, duties, responsibilities, and operating matters of the department
- Department includes sworn officers (police) as well as social work and/or mental health professionals, all skilled in mediation, de-escalation, and conflict resolution
- A responsive department with sufficient staffing to provide law enforcement and other services, and appropriate to the needs of the community
- Current and future efforts to address cultural reform in the Minneapolis Police Department that include:
- Requiring training programs that address bias and racism, and emphasize de-escalation method
- Ending the use of “warrior-style” training whether offered by the police department, police union or any other body
- Broadening recruiting efforts to include more women and people of color and people of different cultural and economic backgrounds
- Offering incentives to encourage current officers to reside in Minneapolis and giving applicants for police officer positions who live in Minneapolis or have a social service background weight in their applications
- Expanding programs that support the physical and mental health of police officers
- Requiring the police chief’s authorization for the use of non-lethal weapons in crowd control situations
- Keeping records on police performance including all citizen complaints and their disposition in order to develop more effective training programs.
- External review of policies and procedures which guarantee citizen input.
- Fair complaint procedures that are accessible, easy to use, and well publicized to encourage citizen participation and trust.
- In order to bypass Federal qualified immunity, LWVMpls supports the Minnesota legislature creating a state remedy for people whose civil rights have been violated by a law enforcement officer.
- LWVMpls supports the Minnesota legislature ending state-mandated arbitration for police discipline, which can reverse the police chief’s disciplinary action against a police officer for professional misconduct, allowing the City to determine a process for reviewing challenged discipline.
- LWVMpls supports action by the City of Minneapolis to negotiate changes in the police contract that addresses concerns discussed in the study, including file retention, investigators interviews, and including supervisors in the bargaining unit.
- LWVMpls supports a variety of mental health crisis response models, which would provide greater flexibility for our City and County to use non-police personnel as well as law enforcement, all trained in crisis intervention, as collaborative responders.
The complete set of League of Women Voters positions can be found in our Program for Action in the ‘Where We Stand’ section of our website.
January 27, 2023 @ 2:50 pm
Proposed Charter Amendments
Press articles, scholarly articles, reports and studies
Glossary of terms and definitions