Officer Training Fund Won't be Named for Castile

July 27, 2017 08:40 PM

The Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standard and Training on Thursday voted down a proposal by Gov. Mark Dayton to name a training fund in honor of Philando Castile.

The board vote came just before 11 a.m. Thursday.

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The governor had requested a new $12 million fund aimed at training police for work in diverse communities be named for Castile, who was shot and killed by then-St. Anthony Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez last July. 

RELATED: Gov. Dayton Asks Officer Training Fund be Named for Castile

The request immediately drew the ire of many in the law enforcement community, who have said that since Yanez was acquitted of manslaughter, Dayton's request felt like a slap in the face.

Several officers and deputies wrote in comments to the board, but Bob Kroll, the President of the Minneapolis Police Federation, made his argument at Thursday's meeting.

"The governor's words were premature, they were irresponsible, and they've fueled the flames of racial hostility. It was inappropriate," Kroll said in an interview with KSTP.

RELATED: Vote Set for Dayton's Request that Officer Training Fund be Named for Castile

Philando's mother, Valerie Castile, made a passionate plea to the board, along with other members during the public comment period. After the vote, Castile said she believes the board's decision was a, "pitiful shame."

"They were just going through the motions, just like the trial. They went through the motions to say, yeah well you got a fair deal. But, it's not. And it's just a pitiful shame that they voted against it when the governor recommended it," she said.

Dayton's office issued a response Thursday saying, "I stand by my recommendation to name the fund after Philando Castile, but I have always known the decision was the POST Board's to make."

The training will begin in July and will focus on crisis intervention and mental health response, conflict management and cultural diversity training.

"We really want to focus on the work, going forward, which I believe will lead to some of these improvements," Nate Gove, executive director of Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training, said.

The Legislature marked $12 million for the training. The breakdown of officer training funding will triple, panning out to $960 per officer.

"This is providing a significant statewide investment for all law enforcement, no just in the metropolitan area," he said.

James Densley, an associate professor of Criminal Justice at Metropolitan State University said focusing on outcomes with training that focuses on crisis intervention will be critical.

"Generally speaking, there is not a lot of concrete evidence that the training is effective, or if it has a long term impact," Dr. Densley said.

KSTP

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