Collaborative Reform Initiative
Police Chief Update Fall 2020
The St. Anthony Police Department (PD) is committed to community building and increasing both public trust and department transparency. The following includes specific ways in which we are implementing policies and procedures to meet department goals.
After reviewing available research, I am encouraged by the positive effects that a body-worn camera (BWC) policy has on community relations and reducing use-of-force interactions and officer complaints. Our officers initially requested and continue to support BWC.
Use of Force policy, procedures Per Policy # 300.9 – Reporting the Use of Force, any use of force by a member of this department shall be documented promptly, completely and accurately in an appropriate report, depending on the nature of the incident. The officer should articulate the factors perceived and why she/he believed the use of force was reasonable under the circumstances.
To collect data for purposes of training, resource allocation, analysis and related purposes, the PD may require the completion of additional report forms, as specified in department policy, procedure or law.
In an incident where an officer is required to report use of force the officer shall complete the following:
- Marking the incident as “Use of Force” within the Record Management System details.
- In the Record Management System, a Response to Resistance (RTR) form.
- A detailed incident report, called a narrative report, detailing all factors that were known to the officer prior and during use of each force taken.
Per Department Policy # 300.9.1 – Notification to Supervisors, the supervisory/officer in charge shall be notified as soon as practicable following the application of force in any of the following circumstances:
- The application caused a visible injury.
- The application would lead a reasonable officer to conclude that the individual may have experienced more than momentary discomfort.
- The individual subjected to the force complained of injury or continuing pain.
- The individual indicates intent to pursue litigation.
- Any application of an Electronic Control Device (ECD) or control device.
- Any application of a restraint device other than handcuffs, shackles or belly chains.
- The individual subjected to the force was rendered unconscious.
- An individual was struck or kicked.
- An individual alleges any of the above has occurred.
Notification to a supervisor/officer in charge is not required when force options include officer presence, verbal communication, handcuffing and/or any soft-hand technique that does not result in injury to the individual or officer.
Per Department Policy #300.10.1 - Supervisor Review, a timely supervisor review is required following every reported use of force incident. All police officers are required to document any use-of-force and de-escalation used in their reporting.
Annual use-of-force training, agency compliance and audits
Our department provides all police officers with annual training in use-of-force, which involves a thorough review of Federal and State law, local ordinances, case law, and department policy. Similar reviews take place periodically, throughout the calendar year, at the discretion of patrol supervisors. Additionally, the Minnesota P.O.S.T. Board mandates yearly training for each active peace officer. Training records must be maintained by the employing agency which documents compliance. Instruction must be based on learning objectives developed by the P.O.S.T Board, and reflected in the agency’s policy. Yearly audits are completed by the P.O.S.T. Board to assure agency compliance.
All of our officers receive on-going training founded in evidence-based de-escalation training. Officers will focus on Crisis Intervention Team Training (C.I.T.), and Integrating Communications, Assessment, and Tactics (I.C.A.T). All officers complete annual training in Procedural Justice and Fair and Impartial Policing. Research suggests that by increasing public cooperation, the procedural approach to community interaction may enhance the safety of both law enforcement officers and the communities we serve.
As a former nationally certified use-of-force and defensive tactics instructor for this agency, I affirm that throughout my 25-plus year career with the St. Anthony PD, we have always mandated that officer’s document all use of force and subsequent de-escalation tactics.
St. Anthony PD policy manual is available online
In the spirit of community building and increasing public trust and transparency, we have made our entire 1,255-page policy manual available to the public. To review this document, please visit https://savmn.com/415/Transparency-Data-Sharing and select policy manual.
City of St. Anthony and Department of Justice Continue to Work Together on Targeted Technical Assistance
January 10, 2018
The Department of Justice (DOJ) previously announced changes to the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Collaborative Reform Initiative for Technical Assistance (CRI-TA) to align the program with the principles outlined by the Attorney General in support of local law enforcement and the original intent of the authorizing statute. The changes were made effective September 15, 2017 and will provide targeted assistance directly to local law enforcement based on their identified needs and requests.
The City of St. Anthony and the St. Anthony Police Department remain committed to maintaining a partnership with the COPS Office that will allow us the ability to receive targeted technical assistance resources related to the Collaborative Reform goals and objectives, which were originally identified by the COPS Office during the initial assessment phase of the process.
The City of St. Anthony has been working with the DOJ in creating a Work Plan of tailored, targeted technical assistance based largely on their assessment and community input which preceded the release of our goals and objectives, adopted March 23rd, 2017. We anticipate the Work Plan will be released this winter and will be posted on our website.
At the beginning of the CRI-TA process, we agreed that participation in the CRI-TA program would not preclude any future investigations into the patterns and practices of our police department by the DOJ Criminal or Civil Rights Division. We are encouraged that to date, we have not been made aware of any issues related to the patterns and practices of this law enforcement agency that require an investigation.
Recently completed technical assistance in the areas of Fair and Impartial Policing and Procedural Justice have been very well received by the police department and our staff. Through this work we have been moved to create a broader awareness of these principles in order to enhance community trust and legitimacy. We are focused on improving community-oriented policing practices, transparency, professionalism, accountability, and public trust, taking into account national standards, promising practices, current and emerging research, and community expectations.
We greatly appreciate the technical assistance this collaboration has provided. We eagerly await the final draft of the Technical Assistance Work Plan so that we may continue working on our stated goals and objectives.
City of St. Anthony Selected to Participate in Department of Justice's Collaborative Reform Initiative
The City is pleased to announce that it has been selected for participation in the United States Department of Justice's Collaborative Reform Initiative for Technical Assistance (CRI-TA). CRI-TA is focused on helping cities find and implement ways to improve trust between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve by providing a means to achieve organizational transformation. The City requested this assistance with the goal of furthering continuous improvement within our policing efforts and citizen engagement process. In other words, the City is open to having national experts tell us what is working and what can be improved in implementing community oriented policing.
The CRI-TA uses assessment and technical assistance providers to coordinate the work through the involvement of subject matter experts, interviews, data and records analysis, research and analysis, and direct observations. The mayor, city council and staff are excited to begin this multi-year process of identifying issues and enhancing the relationships within our community. One of our fundamental goals is to create systems that are sustainable and able to become embedded within the fabric of our community.
St. Anthony's Role
The City has taken this step voluntarily. It is only the 16th city in the nation to be selected for inclusion in the program. The St. Anthony Police Department will be the smallest department nationwide to participate. According to Justice Department officials, approximately 75% of police departments across the nation are the size of St. Anthony's force of 23 officers. It is hoped that this process will not only bring positive change to our City, but serve as a best practices model for similarly-sized agencies across the country.
Goals and Objectives
The Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) developed a goal and objectives document specific to SAPD that outlines the issues to be addressed through the assessment: vehicle and pedestrian stops; community policing practices; recruitment, hiring, and promotional practices; and accountability.
The goal and objectives were developed through the information from the three listening sessions and engagement with a variety of stakeholders including the St. Anthony Police Department, the community, and government stakeholders as part of the site initiation phase. The COPS Office feels that these objectives represent the most pressing issues heard and observed. Each of these objectives are of critical importance and can have significant long-term value to St. Anthony, Falcon Heights, and Lauderdale, as well as policing nationally. The goal and objectives will be the roadmap for the Collaborative Reform assessment. The COPS Office will continually review these objectives to ensure they are meeting the needs of the department and the communities, and assess if something needs to be added or broadened based on the work.