In October 2016, Governor Mark Dayton established this Council, stating: "It is essential that Minnesota's law enforcement and criminal justice systems work for all Minnesotans, including both our law enforcement officers and the communities they bravely serve. This Council is an important first step to ensuring greater trust, safety, and justice for all Minnesotans. I look forward to receiving the Council's recommendations."
The Council is charged with making independent policy recommendations to improve the relationship between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve, support the adoption of best practices in community and law enforcement relations, and expand access to law enforcement training programs.
Council Co-chair, Fourth District Judge Pamela G. Alexander said: "In order to build a stronger Minnesota, the police should reflect and be responsive to the cultural, racial, and gender diversity of the communities they serve. This will require engagement with the community to come up with policies and procedures that embrace the uniqueness of each community and engage in rigorous training to build trust. Training should include implicit bias, procedural justice, relationship based policing, community interaction, crisis intervention, and more. Only through mutual trust, respect, and an open mind can we create a harmonious Minnesota."
Grand Rapids Police Chief Scott Johnson, Council Co-Chair, said: "Policing is not done in a vacuum or apart from the community. Policing depends upon a foundation of collaboration and trust between the police and neighborhood residents. Our hope is that the members of this Council will be able to provide residents and police officers with practical ways that relationships and trust between the police and communities can be strengthened."
The Council may form the following Work Groups, which could address some of the proposals and recommendations submitted: Criminal Justice and Social Reform Work Group; Police Training Work Group; Law Enforcement Workplace and Policy Oversight and Diversity Recruitment and Retention Work Group; Community and Law Enforcement Health and Wellness Group; Policy Development and Implementation Work Group; and other work groups as the co-chairs shall authorize.