Minnesota State has announced the formation of a Taskforce on Law Enforcement Education Reform. The Taskforce will lead a critical examination of current law enforcement education programs across the Minnesota State system using an anti-racism and equity-focused lens. The action is one element of Minnesota State’s multi-prong approach to law enforcement education reform being taken in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd.
Gae Davis, CLC Criminal Justice Coordinator and instructor, was named as a member of the Task Force. Davis has worked for Central Lakes College over two decades and 10 of those years as a Coordinator for the Law Enforcement Program. Davis has a Masters in Criminal Justice from SCSU. She has worked for the Mille Lacs Tribal Police, Motley Police, and Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office. She has a Masters in Criminal Justice from SCSU. She has focused her continuing education program on crisis response, mental illness, conflict management, cultural diversity and autism.
“The colleges and universities of Minnesota State are an essential resource for meeting the workforce needs of the state, including the workforce needs of professional peace officers,” said Devinder Malhotra, chancellor of Minnesota State. “We are in a unique position to guide meaningful reform of law enforcement education. Our role will focus on directly addressing issues of racism and social justice by producing graduates who are culturally competent and ready to serve and protect ALL of our communities, regardless of race, ethnicity, or national origin.”
The Taskforce will advise the Board of Trustees and system leadership on issues, initiatives, programming, and priorities relative to an anti-racist law enforcement education. The Taskforce will not only help to set priorities for Minnesota State regarding law enforcement education, but also has the potential to impact law enforcement across the state.
Co-convened by George Soule, Minnesota State Trustee, Dennis Olson, commissioner of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, and Satasha Green-Stephen, associate vice chancellor of Minnesota State, the Taskforce is comprised of approximately 30 members representing a wide, diverse, and inclusive cross-section of external and internal key stakeholders. “It is imperative,” continued Malhotra, “that, through this taskforce, we leverage collaborative partnerships with other entities engaged in law enforcement education and reform, including the POST Board, the University of Minnesota, K-12 partners, community organizations, citizen groups, police departments and precincts, political leaders, and other state agencies.”
A list of Taskforce members is attached, and additional information, including photos and biographies, is available at the Minnesota State website MinnState.edu/le.
Other elements of the Minnesota State approach to law enforcement education reform include:
- Conducting a quality assurance and program review of law enforcement programs at Minnesota State colleges and universities.
- Forming a law enforcement faculty community of practice that will conduct a review of POST Board standards and compile recommended changes.
- Developing a strategic plan for the recruitment and retention of faculty of color.
A total of 93 academic programs in law enforcement, criminal justice, and related fields are offered across 24 Minnesota State colleges and universities. Approximately 86% of Minnesota graduates in law enforcement graduated from one of the Minnesota State colleges or universities.