Effective Law Enforcement for ALL (ELEFA) selected for Independent Evaluator role

February 2, 2024

The City of Minneapolis and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights (MDHR) have selected Effective Law Enforcement for ALL (ELEFA) as the Independent Evaluator to monitor compliance with the City’s court enforceable settlement agreement with MDHR. The settlement agreement includes policy, budgetary, and training requirements that the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) and City enterprise must undertake.

The Independent Evaluator evaluates and reports on the City’s compliance with the terms of the settlement agreement and provides the City with technical assistance on things like policy drafting and training content.

ELEFA is focused on helping police, civic, and community leaders to partner together to reinvent law enforcement in their communities to achieve policing that is effective, respectful, restrained and, above all, safe for the public and the police. The nonprofit has offices in New Orleans, Louisiana, and Silver Springs, Maryland.

ELEFA was selected after a competitive request for proposals (RFP) process. The nonprofit was one of three teams selected to hold public presentations and answer questions from community members in mid-January. Based on feedback during the selection process from the parties, stakeholders, and the public, ELEFA was the team with the broadest support.

Members of ELEFA’s team have worked on the monitoring teams for the Department of Justice Consent Decrees with the New Orleans Police Department and the Baltimore Police Department. Team members have also done consent decree-related work in several other jurisdictions, including Phoenix, Cleveland, Puerto Rico, and Los Angeles.

“By now you’ve heard us talk about the ‘roadmap for change,’ and today is another critical stop along the way,” said Mayor Jacob Frey. “The ongoing work to reform and rebuild the Minneapolis Police Department will demand a wholesale commitment to collaboration, accountability, and transparency from across this local government. With the selection of an Independent Evaluator, we’re continuing to advance the years-long work to build a more just approach to safety in our city.”

“Choosing an Independent Evaluator marks a pivotal moment in advancing the implementation of the MDHR settlement agreement and positions the City for the forthcoming consent decree from the DOJ,” said City Council President Elliott Payne. “However, the most impactful step we can take is a collective commitment to accountability across all aspects of City government. Reforming MPD cannot occur in isolation. We must transform our entire governance system so that it consistently recognizes early warning signs of problematic conduct, earns the trust of the community, and includes the necessary corrective actions to restore trust when that trust is broken. The Independent Evaluator will provide meaningful expertise and technical assistance, but it falls upon us, as public officials, and the wider community, to remain deeply committed to a culture of accountability in all facets of governance over the long-term.”

“MDHR and the City’s selection of ELEFA as the Independent Evaluator is an important milestone as the City advances the work of complying with the settlement agreement,” said City Attorney Kristyn Anderson. “ELEFA has experience monitoring similar agreements in police departments in other large cities. I believe this team is committed to transformational change in policing to best serve the needs of our community.”

“This is a critical step in our commitment and collaboration with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights,” said Community Safety Commissioner Todd Barnette. “We are looking forward to beginning this work with ELEFA as the selected Independent Evaluator and connecting and engaging with our community in our progress.”

“I came to the Minneapolis Police Department to make positive change,” said Minneapolis Police Chief Brian O’Hara. “The selection of an Independent Evaluator is a necessary step in that process, and I am confident the Independent Evaluator will learn exactly what I did about the people of the MPD today—they are a very small but highly dedicated staff who are deeply committed to getting this right. We will go beyond any court ordered reforms so that we truly make change real for all people in all of our communities. We will rebuild the Minneapolis Police Department to be the finest police service in America.”

Next steps

The Minneapolis City Council will vote on a contract and the Independent Evaluator is expected to start work in early March 2024.

Once the ELEFA team is on board, they have a period of 90 days to create an evaluation plan, which will include significant information gathering, data assessment, and community and officer engagement. This plan will guide ELEFA’s evaluation of the City’s compliance with the settlement agreement.

Learn more about the settlement agreement.