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The sun shines on the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul. (AP file photo)

‘Final offer’ negotiations on public safety

The Senate’s “one final offer” on police reform included these measures.

  • Continuing $6 million in police training funds that otherwise are set to expire.
  • Providing counseling to police affected by traumatic incidents.
  • Expanding background checks for police department job applicants.
  • Mandatory reporting, to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, of deadly force incidents.
  • Banning chokeholds—the Senate provision differs from the House by preserving the tactic as a last-ditch, life-saving move.
  • Adding two new civilian members to the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Board.
  • Requiring officers to intervene if they see another officer applying excessive force.
  • Instructing officers, through POST Board-mandated policy changes, to consider the sanctity of life before deploying deadly force.
  • Requiring four hours of police autism-response training.
  • Clarifying what types of mental illness crisis training police must undergo.
  • Sending disputed police arbitrations to administrative law judges.

The Senate said it would under no conditions support these DFL measures:

  • Restoring the vote to felons.
  • Dismantling or defunding police—such provisions appeared nowhere in the House police-reform package.
  • Handing jurisdiction over police deadly force cases to the state attorney general.

The House’s counteroffer, which apparently never received a reply, responded to these measures in the Senate proposal:

  • Police arbitration reform featuring six specially dedicated arbiters appointed by the governor (House language).
  • Police peer counseling (House version).
  • Reporting of deadly incidents (accepts Senate language).
  • Chokehold ban (House version).
  • Use of force reform (relying on both House and Senate language).
  • Duty for police to intercede (relying on both House and Senate language).
  • POST Board reform, with conditions attached before granting training funds (House language).
  • Autism training (accepts Senate language).
  • Mental health training (House version).

The counter-offer added these measures not present in the Senate proposal:

  • Ban on warrior-style training.
  • Allowing departments to require police residency in their cities.
  • Ending the statute of limitations on police wrongful death cases.
  • Forming local civilian law enforcement oversight councils.
  • Creation of an independent police-homicide investigations unit within the BCA.
  • Creation of a Community-led Public Safety office with the Department of Public Safety.
  • Creation of an Officer-Involved Death Review Board within DPS.

As a concession to the Senate, the House dropped its restore-the-vote proposal and its plan to give the state AG original jurisdiction over police-involved homicides.

On the use-of-force reform, the House adopted the Senate plan to require police departments, under POST Board direction, to rewrite their policies to recognize the sanctity of life. But it also retained the DFL House’s original plan, embedding that language into the state’s criminal code. If passed, the language would have appeared twice in statute.


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