Focus on New Laws: Peace Officer Training and Funding

A new law requires and provides additional funding for training for peace officers in crisis response, conflict management, and cultural diversity.
(Published Sep 25, 2017)

The 2017 omnibus public safety finance and policy bill, Chapter 95, includes one of the League’s legislative priorities, a measure that requires and provides additional funding for training for peace officers in crisis response, conflict management, and cultural diversity.

The bill provides $6 million of new funding in each of the next four years “to support and strengthen law enforcement training and implement best practices.” This is on top of the base of $2.86 million per year in reimbursements to local governments for peace officer training costs.

The requirements, authored by Rep. Tony Cornish (R-Vernon Center) and Sen. Warren Limmer (R-Maple Grove), are spelled out in a new section of law, Minnesota Statutes, section 626.8469.

Implementation required by July 1, 2018
Beginning July 1, 2018, the chief law enforcement officer of every state and local law enforcement agency must provide in-service training in “crisis intervention and mental illness crises; conflict management and mediation; and recognizing and valuing community diversity and cultural differences to include implicit bias training to every peace officer and part-time peace officer employed by the agency.” The training must comply with learning objectives developed and approved by the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Board.

Each officer must complete at least 16 continuing education credits within the officer's three-year licensing cycle. A peace officer with a license renewal date after June 30, 2018, is not required to complete this training until the officer's next full three-year licensing cycle.

Record-keeping required
The head of every local and state law enforcement agency must maintain written records of the agency's compliance with the requirements. The documentation is subject to periodic review by the POST Board. The POST Board may impose licensing sanctions and seek injunctive relief for failure to comply with the requirements.

Other programs funded
Chapter 95 also provides $400,000 each year for reimbursement grants to local units of government that operate so-called “Pathway to Policing” programs intended to bring persons with nontraditional backgrounds into law enforcement, and another $100,000 per year for crisis de-escalation training.

League to deliver training
The League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust (LMCIT) is actively partnering with the POST Board to develop training objectives and to deliver Peace Officer Accredited Training Online (PATROL) courses that meet the new training requirements. LMCIT will also incorporate ways to obtain the credits into its live programming in both the spring and fall.

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