Minneapolis Police Department Pulls Out of Controversial Training Program

May 15, 2018 06:52 PM

The video above originally aired Sunday.


Minneapolis police have joined the Ramsey County Sheriff's Department in pulling its officers from a controversial training program being held this week at Mall of America.

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The decision comes days after 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS first reported that Bulletproof training was returning to the Twin Cities.

Bulletproof, a traveling seminar, has been criticized for promoting overly-aggressive police tactics while its instructors say it emphasizes communication and stress management.

RELATED: Ramsey County Pulls Deputies from Controversial Training

It generated controversy in 2016 after it became known that Jeronimo Yanez, the former St. Anthony police officer who was acquitted of all criminal charges after he shot and killed Philando Castile, had attended the training two years earlier.

Minneapolis had planned to send seven training officers and supervisors to vet this week's seminars.

"After careful consideration, the Minneapolis Police Department has decided it will not be sending any officers to this week's Bulletproof training," Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said in a statement. 

“We do not want to attend any training that could, in any way, shake the foundation of trust. Our original intention was to send training officers to assess what is currently being taught to law enforcement officers and determine if those methods would be in line with our core values of building trust, accountability and delivering professional service," he said.

Ten deputies from the Ramsey County Sheriff's Department had also been scheduled to attend the training, but the department canceled their registration after a 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS inquiry.

"It was a very easy decision," Chief Deputy Steve Frazer said."We're rescinding those approvals."

Jim Glennon, a former police commander who teaches one of the seminars, says Bulletproof is “the opposite of what people think this training is.”

“We don’t advocate shooting somebody who doesn’t need to be shot, we don’t even advocate yelling at somebody who doesn’t need to be yelled at,” Glennon said in a phone interview last week.

At least three major departments in the metro have now publicly stated that officers will not be allowed to attend Bulletproof training. St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell decided it would no longer be a training option when he took over the department in 2016.

KSTP has confirmed at least 25 officers from seven departments in the metro area plan to attend this week’s seminars.

Commander Paul Sommer with the Anoka County Sheriff's Office, which is sending five deputies to the seminars, said Bulletproof has been "well received as a training tool."

Credits

Frank Rajkowski

Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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