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Frey stands by his policy prohibiting 'fear-based' police training

April 26, 2019 05:25 PM

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said Friday that he stands by his policy prohibiting the city's police officers from taking part in what he terms "fear-based training," stating that all training programs will be reviewed by Police Chief Medaria Arradondo and other top department officials for approval.

If a program is deemed to fit inside the criteria that has been set to determine what fear-based training is, officers will not be allowed to take part.

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And Frey said any officer caught taking part in such training, even on their own time, would face disciplinary measures.

"There will be full compliance with the policy going forward," Frey said.

The policy was first announced during Frey's State of the City address earlier this month. 

RELATED: Minneapolis prohibits 'fear-based' training for officers

It came nearly a year after Arradondo pulled several officers out of a controversial training seminar called Bulletproof. Bulletproof had been criticized for promoting overly-aggressive police tactics.

Instructors pushed back on that criticism last year, however, saying the training, which previously included a seminar called "Bulletproof Warrior," is misunderstood and simply emphasizes communication and stress management.

RELATED: Minneapolis Police Department pulls out of controversial training program

And a press release from Law Officer, a law enforcement training organization, said it would provide its online training program "to every member of the Minneapolis Police Department for free and that offer will continue for the remainder of Mayor Frey's term."

The release contained a statement from Lt. Bob Kroll, the president of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, lauding the offer.

"Law Officer brings our officers state of the art warrior training that we are proud to embrace and while it seems that the lives of our officers are not important to politicians, they certainly are by Law Officer and we are grateful for this partnership," the statement read. 

Frey said Friday that union leaders recently met with Arradondo and have agreed to follow the policy. He said the Law Officer training would be reviewed by the department's top officials, and a decision on whether or not it will be approved would follow.

"Compliance with the policy does not mean endorsement of it by our police federation, but we do respect and appreciate the direction we are going right now," Frey said.

While confirming a meeting with Arradondo took place, the union issued a release Friday accusing the mayor of misrepresenting "the terms of the agreement in what appears to be an attempt to save face and get the last word in."

The release said the union had agreed to create an administrative account that would let the department's administration/training unit vet the training being provided to officers by Law Officer.

And it claims an agreement was made "to suspend any discipline related to taking training during off duty time until the policy was revised."

"The POFM strongly objects to the portion of the policy that places restrictions on what our members do on their off duty time," the release read. "Unless the City is paying our cops 24/7, they cannot place sanctions on our members off duty activities."

It also said the union offered to hold a training session for the Mayor, City Council and other parties.

"We believe that if they attend this training they would have an understanding of training they are labeling as "warrior or fear based" training," the release read.

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