Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association meets with attorney general over new school resource officer law
The Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association met privately with the Minnesota attorney general Monday afternoon to discuss concerns over a new state law that prohibits certain types of restraints school resource officers can use when trying to control unruly students.
Eagan Police Chief, Roger New, confirmed that the meeting with the attorney general took place, but he declined further comment.
The Chiefs Association is concerned that new language in the law “prohibits the use of prone restraints and the use of compression restraints on the head, back and across most of the torso.”
Vice president of the Ramsey County chapter of the Chiefs Association, North St. Paul Police Chief, Phil Baebenroth, told KSTP he will probably not put his one SRO back into the schools until the definition of the law is clarified.
“I don’t think it’s a safe environment right now with that law being there,” said Baebenroth. “It doesn’t allow the SRO to do their job of creating a safe environment in the schools and it doesn’t allow teachers to do that either.”
And, Baebenroth said, there is still concern that the new language in the law could put SROs in a bad position with civil lawsuits.
“You know, we don’t want to be in a situation where we cannot act, if we need to act, to keep students safe,” said Baebenroth. “So, there is absolutely concern for civil liability.”
Gov. Tim Walz said last week that the current law is being misinterpreted.
“The law is written to provide exceptions to student health. Risk to them. Risk to police. It is not being interpreted correctly in that they certainly have the authority to do that,” said Walz. “I certainly think we should all agree that we should not kneel on the necks of students unless someone’s life is at risk and that is written into the law to be able to do that.”