Q: I would like to know what procedures and steps are in place to ensure that the George Floyd tragedy never occurs in Red Wing?

A: Thank you for the opportunity to address this national concern. I answered this question in four parts over four weeks.

Part 4 – Retention and peace officer license maintenance

Last week we talked about the background and probationary time, which from date of hire is 12 months for patrol officers. Once an officer successfully completes probation, they become a permanent member of the Red Wing Police Department.

Minnesota Peace Officer Standards & Testing issues peace officer licenses that are valid for three years. Officers must receive at least 48 hours of continuing education training within the three-year license period to renew their license. July 1, 2018, the Minnesota Legislature passed a bill requiring officers to receive at least 16 hours of the 48 hours of continuing education in the following areas:

  • crisis intervention
  • mental illness crises
  • conflict management and mediation, and
  • recognizing and valuing community diversity and cultural differences, to include implicit bias.

This was signed into law by Gov. Mark Dayton as Minnesota Statute 626.8469.

In addition to the annual state-mandated training requirements, RWPD continues to review training opportunities that will help us meet our mission and values. Our mission states that “we will meet the ever changing needs of our community through investment in our employees and building partnerships with our citizens and businesses.”

Our community policing program, founded in September of 2014, has the following goals (which are located on our RWPD Police website at www.red-wing.org/216/Community-Policing)

1. Build community relations

2. Receive community input

3. Reduce the fear of crime,

4. Lower overall crime rate.

Investing in our employees, RWPD has focused on 21st Century Policy Task Force recommendations, which was released in May 2015. “The task force recommendations, each with action items, are organized around six main topic areas or 'pillars': building trust and legitimacy, policy and oversight, technology and social media, community policing and crime reduction, officer training and education, and officer safety and wellness.”

RWPD currently has officers trained as instructors in “verbal judo” -- de-escalation techniques and has enrolled two officers to become certified trainers in “racial intelligence training and engagement.”

In February 2020, Minnesota Attorney General Deadly Encounters Working Group final report was released. “Working group members early on came to consensus on the five pillars of their mandate:

1. Community healing and engagement,

2. Prevention and training,

3. Investigations and accountability,

4) Policy and legal implications,

5) Officer wellness.

These two documents continue to be the foundation that we utilize in evaluating which law enforcement training opportunities will contribute to our mission and thereby meet the needs of our community. If your group or service organization would like to learn more about these reports or how RWPD utilizes them to meet our mission, feel free to contact me to schedule a discussion.

References

1. Minnesota Statute 626.8469, Training in Crisis Response, Conflict Management and Cultural Diversity. Located online at: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/2019/cite/626.8469

2. 21st Century Policing Final Report, located online at: https://cops.usdoj.gov/pdf/taskforce/TaskForce_FinalReport.pdf

3. Minnesota Attorney General’s Deadly Encounter Working Group final report located online at https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/co/working-group/Documents/police-involved-deadly-force-encounters-recommendations.pdf



“Ask The Chief” allows readers access to useful information about law enforcement issues in Red Wing. This communication tool has been developed to enhance community policing efforts by providing residents and visitors with the opportunity to ask questions about local laws, programs and the department in general.

Submit your question to askthe.policechief@ci.red-wing.mn.us.

Generally one answer a week is posted RWPD social media sites and printed in the Red Wing Republican Eagle.