Chief Dolan: actions of a few discredit great work of others

Below is a statement released today by Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan:

The recent cases that have come to light in the media make me and other employees of the Department mad.  The alleged actions of a few are being used to discredit all the great work that my 1100 employees do everyday.  In reality, I believe that, in this region and possibly the country, the Minneapolis PD does the most and expects the most from our officers – and holds them to the highest degree of professionalism.

Let’s talk about some realities of the MPD:

  • We have well over a million contacts per year with citizens.
  • A few less than 900 officers handle about 400,000 calls for service a year; that is about 1100 calls per day.
  • My officers make over 30,000 arrests a year; that comes to about a 100 arrests per day.
  • My officers conduct around 1,500 traffic stops in a busy week.

Although my officers have over a million contacts with citizens each year we still only see about 200 complaints a year against our officers.  And that number has decreased in each of the three years of my administration.  That percentage of complaints is actually lower than the percentage seen by the LAPD which is currently being praised for a low level of complaints.  Of the 200 cases that are filed about 90 result in open Internal Affairs cases.  Of those 90 cases we had about a dozen sustained excessive force cases last year.

I take investigations of complaints against my officers seriously.  In my last three years in office 16 officers have either resigned or been terminated due to our investigations of: theft, domestic assault, misuse of force, DUI, lying, and other misconduct.  And I am likely not done this year.

That number of terminations exceeds any previous administration.  Let me make it clear – I don’t like firing police officers.  I wish I never had to fire an officer.  However, I must hold all my employees accountable for their conduct.

What we have also done is implemented internal technology and practices that make us the most transparent agency in the Midwest.  These are our videos being played on TV.   We take complaints against officers in many forms including on-line.  We publish our complaint statistics every year in our Annual Internal Affairs Unit report.

So rest assured I take these recent allegations seriously.  In looking at the recent allegations I can say that we were already aware of most of them and had already begun internal investigations before they became public.  The most recent video shown was sent to IAD for review the day after the incident.  At our request it was reviewed by an outside agency and declined for criminal prosecution, and it came back for our standard review process.  Our system worked for that incident.

I view each incident as an opportunity to better our processes and review what we expect of our officers and how they are trained.  In light of recent incidents I have enhanced our force review process and I am changing our use of force training.

Timothy J. Dolan
Chief of Police

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