Local police departments discuss use-of-force policies and training amid George Floyd death

Alejandra Palacios
Updated: May 27, 2020 06:12 PM

Local police are talking more about use-of-force policy procedures and training after the controversy in the death of George Floyd.

The Cloquet Police Department posted its policy on Facebook to the public, letting them know the police are professionally trained in the use of force, including identifying the signs and symptoms of positional asphyxia and excited delirium. The policy also covers a provision requiring officers to intervene if they witness excessive force.

"All of us at the Cloquet Police Department want you to know that we cherish and value our diverse community and that your safety and protection is our highest regard," said Derek Randall, the interim chief for Cloquet Police.

The Hibbing Police Department said the use of force policy they have follows the standards that are in place by the Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training. This policy includes mandatory use of force training by every officer on a yearly basis. Officers are also trained by the League of Minnesota Cities in crisis intervention, conflict management, and community diversity.

"The Hibbing Police Department takes great pride in serving and protecting the citizens of our community and will continue to do so on a daily basis," said Chief of Police Steve Estey.

St. Louis County Attorney Mark Rubin gave his perspective as a member of the Minnesota Working Group Police-Involved Deadly Force Encounters. The group released a preliminary report with recommendations and action steps aimed at reducing deadly force encounters with police in the state.

"One of the things we emphasize is law enforcement needs to be trained in de-escalation tactics. Their role is that of a peace officer. We are lucky in our community to have the peace officers that we do," said Rubin.

Rubin said a final report will be released this summer from the working group.

"We also put in our report that when a officer sees another officer going beyond what they should, they have the duty to speak up and say that's wrong, stop, because it's also the duty to protect and serve not only us, but also those who are caught committing crime," said Rubin.

Other recommendations include increasing meaningful community relations and expanding law enforcement training funding.

"Law enforcement officers need support they need training. We emphasize a lot of that in the working group report the type of training that is necessary and the community connections," said Rubin.

To read the report by the working group, click here.


Alejandra Palacios

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