New process in place to review police conduct

The Mayor and City Council have approved a new process for how claims of police misconduct are handled and investigated. The City sought these changes to make the review process more effective for the people who file complaints and the officers mentioned in those complaints, as well as to increase confidence and trust in police oversight, not just from people who make complaints, but also for police officers, City government and the public.  

This revised process combines the resources of the Civil Rights Department and the Minneapolis Police Department: a move that’s expected to make the review process more efficient and timely for the main parties involved. It also includes civilians throughout decision-making processes.

All complaints made to the City about police officers will now go to the new Office of Police Conduct Review, and the civilian and police managers there will decide what course each case takes. Minor offenses can go straight to the officer’s supervisor for action. Cases can also go to mediation, where the complainants and officers meet with mediators to resolve the situations. Allegations of more severe misconduct prompt a full investigation, and the heads of the office decide whether a civilian or a police investigator should handle a particular case.

Completed investigations go to the Police Conduct Review Panel, which is made up of two civilians and two sworn officers. The four members will make final recommendations to the Minneapolis Police Chief, who has the ultimate responsibility to take action.

Separate from this process is the new Police Conduct Oversight Commission: a panel of seven civilians appointed by the Mayor and City Council that will routinely audit the way complaints are handled. Based on this audit information as well as community outreach, education and engagement, the commission will suggest policy changes. With input from the commission, the process will continue to be evaluated for effectiveness and additional changes will be proposed to the Mayor and City Council when warranted.

More information on police conduct oversight is available at www.minneapolismn.gov/civilrights/policereview.

Published Oct. 1, 2012