July 07, 2017 07:24 PM
Gov. Mark Dayton says he's sorry recent comments he made were taken out of context.
The governor is facing criticism from police federations across the state following his recommendation that a new officer training fund be named for Philando Castile. The federations are upset with the governor's leadership, but Dayton said he respects police.
"People took my comments as critical of all law enforcement in Minnesota, which is just not true," Dayton said. "I just have the absolute utmost respect, and I deeply regret that that's not what was communicated to law enforcement men and women around the state."
Dayton has faced backlash for comments he's made about the death of Castile over the past year, including his position that Castile wouldn't have been shot if he were white.
"We feel that it's irresponsible," said Jared Landkamer, president of the Cottage Grove Police Officers Federation.
On Thursday, Landkamer defended the work of his officers, saying those comments deepen the divide between police and the community. Some question why a new police training fund wouldn't be named after a fallen officer instead of Castile.
"They're getting frustrated, they feel unappreciated," Landkamer said.
Friday morning, in a meeting that had been on his calendar for weeks, Dayton met with about 20 members of law enforcement from across the state.
"There was no animosity at that table," said Chief Wm. Blair Anderson of St. Cloud Police Department. "Were the issues discussed? Of course."
"Very much appreciate their constructive advice," Dayton said.
With police training a main focus of Friday's discussion, both parties agree that the conversations are productive and must continue.
"That's how real change is made, and in my opinion you ask the practitioners for their opinions and best practices, and then we go about figuring out ways to implement it," Anderson said.
Whether the training fund is named after Castile won't be decided for a few months. That decision will be made by the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Board that attended Friday's meeting with Dayton.
Nate Gove, executive director of the POST Board, released a statement that read:
"While the POST Board has never taken a step like this, in order to name this training fund 'The Philando Castile Law Enforcement Training Fund' as requested by the Governor, our 15 member board must vote on and approve the name.
No matter what the board decides, increased training in these crucial areas is something we at the POST Board have been advocating for. After hearing from law enforcement, we began changing training requirements for incoming officers back in 2012 and worked with others to get new police training and additional funding approved by the legislature this year.
I look forward to helping the Board implement these new training requirements. We hope to have learning objectives published by the first of the year so law enforcement trainers and educators can build curriculum that meets Board approval."
Updated: July 07, 2017 07:24 PM
Created: July 07, 2017 05:25 PM
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