Collaborative Reform Initiative
Police Chief Update Winter 2019
Throughout 2018, our police department has remained focused on working closely with our COPS Office technical assistance partners in order to achieve our community stakeholder identified goals and objectives. The Department of Justice Collaborative Reform Initiative for Technical Assistance (DOJ CRI-TA) site team made monthly visits to our police department to provide technical assistance and connect our personnel with subject matter experts. The ultimate goal was to increase our capacity and bandwidth within our agency as we pursued the development of a department strategic plan which was unveiled to the public this past June (2018) during an open house. This document, our supporting mission and vision, along with historical information regarding CRI-TA can be found on the right side of this webpage .
A clear vision creates clarity of purpose. A clear mission improves the quality of our service. Our identified goals and objectives must directly tie into our mission and vision. The police department’s mission and vision must directly tie into the city mission and vision. All of our police officers must be able to plausibly articulate how any policing action they may take fits into the departments’ mission and vision.
I am pleased to report that we continue to make great progress in terms of technology and transparency. We have fully implemented our Panasonic Body Worn Camera (BWC) program as of November 9th, 2018. Officers of the St. Anthony Police Department have embraced this technology and have been diligent in following policy regarding deployment and use. Daily record management reviews are conducted to ensure equipment is being used properly. Department supervisors are required to complete monthly audits to ensure equipment is being used properly and in accordance with policy. Our squad cars have also been outfitted with new Panasonic HD squad cameras that are designed to pair with the BWC technology. We have now begun the last phase of our camera project by addressing upgrades to our facility camera system. This will result in a fully integrated audio and video system that will allow for our staff to have audio/video coverage through multiple phases of contact with the public.
We must remain mindful that audio and video equipment is not a complete end all do all fix for capturing all aspects of police encounters with the public. People who have never seen a police officer’s everyday reality up close can easily overlook just how difficult it can be to face the everyday challenges associated with policing. We, as police officers, must adhere to the Pillars of Procedural Justice and Fair and Impartial Policing. In the policing profession, perception is reality, and the most effective tool(s) we have are housed within the framework of these two tenets. By and large, our police officers have big hearts and a service mind set. They endeavor to serve to the best of their ability.
The St. Anthony Police Department will remain committed to the goals and objectives outlined in our police department strategic plan. It will aid in focusing our resources, making data driven decisions and evaluating how we take inputs from community stakeholders and apply them with the goal to improve the overall quality of life by preserving the peace and safety of our community.
Jon Mangseth, Police Chief
City of St. Anthony and Department of Justice Continue to Work Together on Targeted Technical Assistance
January 10, 2018
The Department of Justice (DOJ) previously announced changes to the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Collaborative Reform Initiative for Technical Assistance (CRI-TA) to align the program with the principles outlined by the Attorney General in support of local law enforcement and the original intent of the authorizing statute. The changes were made effective September 15, 2017 and will provide targeted assistance directly to local law enforcement based on their identified needs and requests.
The City of St. Anthony and the St. Anthony Police Department remain committed to maintaining a partnership with the COPS Office that will allow us the ability to receive targeted technical assistance resources related to the Collaborative Reform goals and objectives, which were originally identified by the COPS Office during the initial assessment phase of the process.
The City of St. Anthony has been working with the DOJ in creating a Work Plan of tailored, targeted technical assistance based largely on their assessment and community input which preceded the release of our goals and objectives, adopted March 23rd, 2017. We anticipate the Work Plan will be released this winter and will be posted on our website.
At the beginning of the CRI-TA process, we agreed that participation in the CRI-TA program would not preclude any future investigations into the patterns and practices of our police department by the DOJ Criminal or Civil Rights Division. We are encouraged that to date, we have not been made aware of any issues related to the patterns and practices of this law enforcement agency that require an investigation.
Recently completed technical assistance in the areas of Fair and Impartial Policing and Procedural Justice have been very well received by the police department and our staff. Through this work we have been moved to create a broader awareness of these principles in order to enhance community trust and legitimacy. We are focused on improving community-oriented policing practices, transparency, professionalism, accountability, and public trust, taking into account national standards, promising practices, current and emerging research, and community expectations.
We greatly appreciate the technical assistance this collaboration has provided. We eagerly await the final draft of the Technical Assistance Work Plan so that we may continue working on our stated goals and objectives.
City of St. Anthony Selected to Participate in Department of Justice's Collaborative Reform Initiative
The City is pleased to announce that it has been selected for participation in the United States Department of Justice's Collaborative Reform Initiative for Technical Assistance (CRI-TA). CRI-TA is focused on helping cities find and implement ways to improve trust between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve by providing a means to achieve organizational transformation. The City requested this assistance with the goal of furthering continuous improvement within our policing efforts and citizen engagement process. In other words, the City is open to having national experts tell us what is working and what can be improved in implementing community oriented policing.
The CRI-TA uses assessment and technical assistance providers to coordinate the work through the involvement of subject matter experts, interviews, data and records analysis, research and analysis, and direct observations. The mayor, city council and staff are excited to begin this multi-year process of identifying issues and enhancing the relationships within our community. One of our fundamental goals is to create systems that are sustainable and able to become embedded within the fabric of our community.
St. Anthony's Role
The City has taken this step voluntarily. It is only the 16th city in the nation to be selected for inclusion in the program. The St. Anthony Police Department will be the smallest department nationwide to participate. According to Justice Department officials, approximately 75% of police departments across the nation are the size of St. Anthony's force of 23 officers. It is hoped that this process will not only bring positive change to our City, but serve as a best practices model for similarly-sized agencies across the country.
Goals and Objectives
The Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) developed a goal and objectives document specific to SAPD that outlines the issues to be addressed through the assessment: vehicle and pedestrian stops; community policing practices; recruitment, hiring, and promotional practices; and accountability.
The goal and objectives were developed through the information from the three listening sessions and engagement with a variety of stakeholders including the St. Anthony Police Department, the community, and government stakeholders as part of the site initiation phase. The COPS Office feels that these objectives represent the most pressing issues heard and observed. Each of these objectives are of critical importance and can have significant long-term value to St. Anthony, Falcon Heights, and Lauderdale, as well as policing nationally. The goal and objectives will be the roadmap for the Collaborative Reform assessment. The COPS Office will continually review these objectives to ensure they are meeting the needs of the department and the communities, and assess if something needs to be added or broadened based on the work.