What you can do to change policing in Minnesota
Transforming the system of policing in Minnesota can feel like an impossible task. Despite growing numbers of calls to transform the system, very little seems to change.
Until July 20th, Minnesotans have an opportunity to contribute to meaningful changes in policing by submitting comments in support of proposed rules changes at the Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST Board).
The proposed rules changes will strengthen the systems that hold police accountable for protecting and serving their communities. The MNJRC has created a Public Comment Toolkit that provides information and resources for members of the public interested in submitting a comment in support of strengthening systems statewide.
What’s the POST Board?
The POST Board is a state-level agency that regulates licensing and training standards for law enforcement officers. The Board recently completed a two-year process of reviewing and recommending changes to administrative rules that dictate licensing and training requirements and standards of conduct for officers across the state.
In March 2022, a POST Board committee consisting of law enforcement, community groups, academics and researchers, and government actors recommended a series of draft rules changes. The diverse group unanimously agreed to all but five changes.
The POST Board is now asking for public comments on the proposed rules changes.
What’s a comment and how do I submit one?
A comment is a written statement expressing your opinion about the proposed rules changes. It acts as a signal to the POST Board and other state actors about whether the public supports the changes.
There is a specific process for submitting a comment. The comment must be written and refer to specific rules. It can be emailed (POSTrules.POST@state.mn.us), faxed (651-643-3072), or mailed (POST Board, 1600 University Ave, Suite 200, St. Paul, Minnesota, 55104).
All comments must be sent to the POST Board by 4:30pm on July 20th.
What should my comment say?
Your comment should state your opinion about the rules changes and reasons you support or oppose them.
The POST Board is particularly interested in comments about the small number of rules changes that were not approved unanimously. Links below include information and sample comments about three of these rules changes, including:
Involvement in hate groups, including white supremacy groups.This rules change identifies the support, advocacy, or participation in white supremacist, hate or extremist groups or criminal gangs (hate group) by licensed officers as a violation of the standards of conduct. Click here to write and submit a comment.
Eligibility of noncitizens to be licensed as an officer. This rules change says that persons who are legally entitled to work in the United States but are not yet citizens are eligible to be licensed as a law enforcement officer. Police departments can choose (but are not required) to hire non-citizens who are legally entitled to work in the U.S. Click here to write and submit a comment.
Public assembly and First Amendment protections. This change requires law enforcement agencies to adopt a policy pertaining to public assembly and First Amendment activity, which would establish shared expectations for law enforcement conduct and responses to crowd events.e specific to your personal or professional experiences. Click here to write and submit a comment.