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LIGHTS ON! Bring this program to your town

RECRUITING THE NEXT GENERATION Departments hunt for new talent

GOOD COP, GOOD COP A cop returns to his roots

First Call for Help MCPA provides a new service to better support the health and wellness of the men and women in Minnesota law enforcement

physicial wellness mental wellness spiritual wellness

Home County

Home County

Contents FALL 2018 2016


Executive Director’s Report

It’s About to Get Busy


President’s Perspective


Chaplin’s Message

Facing our Future, Ready to Lead

Open Enrollment

10 Professional Development New technology helps shape 2019 15 MCPA’s Newest Board Members Leading on new frontiers 22 Coming in 2019 Opportunities to partner 30 Ad Index

FIRST CALL FOR HELP Wellness is not a new word or concept but the people heading up MCPA's expanded service believe it has become a buzzword in law enforcement. Find out how they hope to better connect police officers to expert resources.





Organizers look to take this popular coupon program statewide Lights On! connects law enforcement agencies with local auto repair centers to help fix broken vehicle lights after traffic stops.


Police across the country step up their recruitment game in the face of daunting data MCPA’s Critical Issues Forums looks at the factors impacting police officer recruitment and retention and what strategies are breaking through in an economy where jobs remain plentiful.


A local officer returns to his health education roots A veteran Minnesota cops takes time to publish what he’s learned about a life in law enforcement and how you can adopt new strategies to truly live well.

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22 3

Executive Director’s Report

It’s About to Get Busy It’s about to get busy. When those words leave my mouth, it’s an affirmation of all of the different projects we have underway at MCPA. I also say it with a bit concern and hopefulness. We are busy, you are busy and, in the midst of it all, we hope you can find all of the projects the Minnesota Chiefs have going to support the work you do every day.


Sometimes the answer is I’m interested, but not right now. Other times members call aware of some service, but unsure of where to find it and connect to it. Whatever the case, one of MCPA’s strategic goals is to make our programs accessible to all of our members no matter where and how you serve. In the pages to come, you will read more about our work next year to better connect you to the programs and experts available through MCPA. We’ll start at the beginning, with First Call for Help. Minnesota is hardly a level playing field when it come providing physical, mental and spiritual support to men and women in law enforcement. First Call’s goal is to improve that situation and, in order to do that, we know there is work to be done to identify clinicians and experts good at working with police. A year ago, we wondered how many officers would sign up for Dr. Paul Nystrom’s wellness series. The answer turned out to be hundreds. Now our goal is to build a roster of professionals willing to support mental and spiritual wellness so any time someone makes a First Call, there will be a resource available.

One of MCPA’s strategic goals is to make our programs accessible to all of our members no matter where and how you serve. Lights On! is a metro-based program that has built goodwill between police and the communities with coupons to fix broken tail lights. Now the program organizers tell us they have both the funds and ideas to expand it across our state. You’ll read more about how that is possible. A year ago, we offered a video livestream of our first Critical Issues Forum. It worked so well we created ChiefsCast and made it a part of ETI. Now some of our trainings can be viewed live as they happen or later, through our video archive. In 2019, we will make even more trainings available live with new interactive features added to the MPCA Training Center in New Brighton. The more we do and the more our community partners offer help, the harder it can become to find to the specific program or service when you need it. That is why MCPA will debut a new



Minnesota Chiefs website. The goal is to provide a more focused experience and to enhance our Members Only and Resource sections to make it easier to navigate. In this issue of Minnesota Police Chief you will also see a new feature at the end of articles that highlights the next steps you can take to connect to a program or initiative. The blue boxes will list expert references and resources. Gray boxes will offer information you can use to sign up or connect to the organizers. If you miss it in the magazine, you’ll find it in C-notes or when you call the Chiefs office. As the holidays approach the word busy takes on a whole new meaning. I want to take a moment to offer my thanks on behalf of the MCPA staff and board of directors. We can throw a lot of material at you, but you always respond with strong support for the work we do. Thank you and here’s to a happy and healthy holiday season.


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President’s Perspective

Facing our future, ready to lead When I started my career in law enforcement I considered myself lucky to find a job in my hometown. When I wanted fulltime work, there were plenty of agencies hiring. Decades later, there are still great opportunities to serve communities all across our state. The trouble is, we no longer have the great numbers of candidates we used to see for each opening.


As chiefs of rural, suburban and urban departments, we have a common problem but we don’t necessarily see it the same way. As you’ll read in this issue, big city chiefs are on the hunt all over the country to find recruits. Smaller agencies are looking for ways to stop veteran officers from leaving. One department is even knocking on the door of retirees. No thank you. As we try to do each year, MCPA will work to focus energy and resources on this issue. Our 2018 Critical Issues Forum will explore strategies to recruit and retain law enforcement officers. This is a free event for members as well as your municipal and community leaders, so please invite them to join us. If for some reason you cannot make it in person we will provide a video livestream just as we did last year.

Get involved in your community and involve your community. When I did that, I discovered city and business leaders actively involved in helping local students identify future careers in their hometown. There is plenty to debate about why police agencies are seeing fewer qualified candidates but, before we get too far down any path, we also want you to see the data driving some of the dire predictions. Minnesota State Demographer Susan Brower says Minnesota is already seeing the impact of baby boomer retirements and their adverse impact on local economies. She will be on hand at the forum to paint a picture of what Minnesota’s future law enforcement needs will be and where we might find the candidates to protect and serve. As you prepare to join us in a few weeks, I hope you will take time to consider your role in supporting the future of law enforcement. Get involved in your community and involve your community. When I did that in Hutchinson, I discovered city and business leaders actively involved in helping local students identify future careers in their hometowns. The private sector is heavily invested in building its future workforce. Police should be at the table for those community discussions. As technological advances ripple throughout our society, it is transforming how all of us



POLICE DEPARTMENTS IDENTIFY WITH IDENTISYS™ work. While police work is still one of the more visible jobs out there, we need to take steps to help young people understand where they fit into this picture. This year MCPA has begun working on a branding campaign that seeks to tell the real story of being a police officer. We cannot rely on the traditional or social media to do this for us in the current environment. The video series will be told by men and women who serve police agencies all around Minnesota. Some have chosen to wear the badge because they were inspired by family members. Others discovered the career by accident. All of them find police work satisfies a need or interest in helping others. We will preview the series and debut a new web portal designed to help recruit and retain police officers for you when you join us December 12th at the Critical Issues Forum. I doubt any of us will walk away from the event with all of the answers. There is no silver bullet solution to this downward workforce trend but more likely many silver BBs we can all employ to hit the mark.

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MCPA CRITICAL ISSUES FORUM Wednesday, December 12 | 1 – 4 pm Schneider Theater | Bloomington Civic Plaza 1800 West Old Shakopee Road | Bloomington, MN 55431

AGENDA The Future of Minnesota’s Workforce Susan Brower, Minnesota State Demographer

Pathways to Policing Update Recruiting the Next Generation of Police Officers What works: Effective Retention Strategies Registration is FREE for MCPA members. Visit MNchiefs.org/training for more information

FALL 2018


Chaplain’s Message

Open Enrollment Around this time of the year, many of you are making your annual choices for health insurance coverage. Financial considerations, access to care networks, and relationships with providers are common factors in this decision-making process. Similarly, with the wintertime holiday season bookended by Thanksgiving and Christmas, perhaps some of you are already looking ahead to the New Year with thoughts of resolutions, specifically changes that you plan to undertake in 2019 as they relate to your personal health.


Concepts and challenges that did not even exist earlier in our law enforcement careers are now at the forefront of American policing. Our minds must be open to learning new ideas and expanding our understanding of these issues. Often, we are motivated toward change in our wellness practices based on current circumstances. It could be that a negative medical report necessitates physical lifestyle improvements. Perhaps increasing workplace demands on your agency or position dictate focused attention on your mental well-being. Or maybe you are in midst of a dark and stormy period for your soul. Regardless, what “open enrollment” do you need to engage for your personal health of body, mind, and spirit? For the Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO), there is a continuing need for mental improvement with the rapidly changing world around us that we are responsible for policing. Consider the growth of technology in modern society and its impact on our daily work. Concepts and challenges that did not even exist earlier in our law enforcement careers are now at the forefront of American policing. Our minds must be open to learning new ideas and expanding our understanding of these issues in order to keep pace with the evolving demands of our public safety profession. Additionally, as the human body ages, we all experience the effects of growing older. Many of you have undertaken a regular regimen of diet and exercise to improve your physical bodies, or at least slow the counter effects of aging. “Open enrollment” from a nutritional standpoint as a rookie cop allowed us to eat whatever, whenever, and wherever without experiencing much impact on our physical abilities. Now older and hopefully wiser about food choices, we more closely monitor our intake, and rely on the advice of medical professionals and physical fitness experts to keep our bodies in peak performance.



But what about bettering our spirituality? What motivates greater fitness and strengthening of our soul? Too often, people fail to pay attention to this important aspect of their individual being until a negative experience pushes them toward seeking guidance in this area. Or worse, once in difficult spiritual season, they wait until the condition of their soul improves before seeking help, which is akin to seeing a medical doctor once symptoms have disappeared and you are physically feeling better. Frequently though, their spiritual condition does not improve without intervention. Just as Police Chiefs promote positive and proactive engagement between their officers and the community, so too as agency leaders we should encourage our staff to have similar relationships with their individual providers of physical, mental, and spiritual healthcare. “Open enrollment” allows us the opportunity to identify care networks, connect with resources, and start improving our personal wellness absent a compelling situation or challenging circumstance. We know that healthy connections external to our law enforcement agencies, especially those developed during times of relative peace in the jurisdiction, improve our abilities to police the community. Likewise, our officers need pre-established access to care networks for body, mind, and soul before they encounter the inevitable challenges on their physical, mental, and spiritual health that will occur in this profession. Preventative maintenance is important for all three, just like having reactive emergency assistance available for injuries and illnesses, whether of body, mind, or spirit. In your position as agency executives and organizational leaders, please continue to advocate for officer wellness in all areas including body, mind, and soul by obtaining access to these resources, and also promoting their use by members of your organization. Remember to be an example for the employees under your command to improve your own physical, mental, and spiritual fitness. The health and wellness of your department is dependent on you setting the tone. Do it well!


TIM CARRUTH 218-262-3881 timcarr@yahoo.com

BOB O’HARA 218-349-8955 rwohara01@aol.com



Professional Development

New Technology helps shape 2019 Training MCPA’s Training Center in New Brighton is back in business with new smartboard and other interactive technology. The equipment will make it possible for us to produce more live, online training events. Personally, it’s hard to think of the room as outdated. I helped design it nearly 20 years ago when I served as the chief of police in New Brighton. The technology upgrade will also allow us to add studio and media field training to our Police and the Media series. More members want to experience what it’s like to be interviewed and work with social media so we will add to our calendar next year. BOB JACOBSON PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR MINNESOTA CHIEFS OF POLICE ASSOCIATION

Marie Ridgeway’s series on Conflict Management, Mediation and Crisis Intervention was the first session held in the new training center. Ridgeway is a licensed Clinical Social Worker who also regularly guides Minneapolis police officers through weekly yoga sessions. (See the summer issue of Minnesota Police Chief.) She has been a great addition to our team of expert MCPA trainers because of her experience working alongside police in crisis situations.

As you consider your training needs and interests in 2019, it might make sense to look at scheduling customized trainings for your agency or region. As you consider your training needs, it might make sense to look at scheduling custom sessions for your agency or region. Recently several departments booked Ridgeway and Dr. Paul Nystrom on officer wellness in tandem. The result is a full day of training covering emerging topics in law enforcement. Ridgeway’s course, in particular, is designed to meet the POST Board’s new training standards. Nystrom, Ridgeway and our other expert trainers will join us at ETI next April. We will also invite city leaders to once again attend ETI. It has proven to be valuable to expose both your elected and appointed municipal leaders to the issues and challenges police agencies face on a daily basis. Finally, we know, you are working to ensure your personnel are on track to meet the POST Board’s new training standards. Additional money for the statewide training appropriation is coming to your community to meet these mandates. You should be in touch with your city clerk or finance director with any questions. MCPA will continue to monitor the implementation of these standards and Nate Gove will be at future Minnesota Chiefs events, including EDI to answer your questions.




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A new monthly course on current issues impacting MN law enforcement 3 courses that help meet POST mandates on use of force/ deadly force 8 courses that meet OSHA standards 11 refresher courses for new or seasoned peace officers 5 Supervisory-Management Leadership courses


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Bring this Program to your Community

Fixing Police-Community Relations, One Broken Taillight Stop at a Time


There is no longer a ‘routine’ traffic stop. The cop walks up to the car and he or she has no idea what they’re going to encounter. Often, the driver of the vehicle is also sitting there wondering what they’re facing. They might have no idea why they’ve been

It happens dozens of times a day, all across the state. Officers pull over a driver for having a taillight out. Maybe

“You might not be able to fix that light. Or, what do you have to sacrifice to fix that light? Poor people are making decisions like that every day,’ said Don Samuels, who founded the Lights On! program after the Philando Castile incident. “Do I pay the rent or

We can start changing people’s thinking about ‘you screwed up, you’re wrong and you’re going to get penalized.

pulled over in the first place. There is a fear of the unknown, and it’s a twoway street. “If we can start changing people’s thinking about ‘you screwed up, you’re wrong and you’re going to get 12

penalized’; we’re just talking about a light bulb here,” said Microgrants facilitator Mike McCloskey.

it’s a headlight. While it might not seem like a big deal to police, it’s a different story for the driver that probably doesn’t have a happy ending. Sometimes a new bulb can cost $40. Sometimes the cost to rewire a light could approach $300.

do I buy food? This kind of expense -unexpected, one that’s not been budgeted for - it could be critical for someone.” Right now, more than 20 Minnesota law enforcement agencies are armed MINNESOTA POLICE CHIEF

Samuels said. “To date, just about all of our vouchers have been funded by “crowd funding” and we have raised about twice that much again! So we have money for another year or two,” Samuels would like to see more Minnesota departments join the program. In 2017, Microgrants kicked off Lights On! where it all began, in Columbia Heights. 16 agencies, including St. Paul, Minneapolis and Brooklyn Park were represented. Between April and December of 2017, Twin Cities cops handed out more than 400 vouchers. The Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) has just requested 500 more vouchers for its patrol officers. In the month of September of 2018, MPD officers assigned to the Dogwatch shift in the Second Precinct handed out 14 vouchers to thankful drivers. “You pull somebody over and say ‘yeah, I’m pulling you over because you have a headlight out’ and you might hear ‘I don’t have the money to get that fixed,” said Commander Charlie Adams, who oversees the MPD’s Community & Collaborative Advancement Division. “The officer replies ‘That’s cool. I’m going to give you a voucher and you can get it fixed for free.’ Everybody’s reaction is just ‘Wow, thank you.’ The whole communication between the officer and the citizen is positive.”

with a powerful tool. Officers are handing out vouchers instead of tickets. Drivers take those vouchers to a Bobby & Steve’s auto body center in the metro area and they get their headlight or taillight fixed for free. Microgrants pays

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for the bulb and Bobby and Steve’s chips in free labor. It’s a partnership built by communities, for community members. “Because everyone can relate to it, that really fired up our crowd funding,”

As for Microgrants, a large donation is helping the organization keep up with the increasing demand. In the Twin Cities, if it costs Bobby & Steve’s more than $50 for the fix, the technicians call the folks at Microgrants who approve and fund the extra costs of the repairs. Samuels and McCloskey say local law enforcement agencies can work with their own community philanthropists 13

Bring this Program to your Community

We can all relate to being pulled over. Each voucher has the potential to turn a lose-lose situation – the traffic stop -

into a win-win where we’re helping low income drivers and changing how officers are viewed.

replicate it and most of the calls are from police departments. But some are from non-profits like us, that want to manage it and lead it and some are from the auto repair business community.”

to set up a funding stream to help lowincome drivers out. Two agencies in Ohio have rolled out Lights On! and Iowa City, Iowa, is also participating. Right now, the calls are coming in from all over the country. Samuels is also engaged in talks to bring a nationwide auto repair chain on board, which may have a stake in the auto body repair store or stores in your community. “We have the potential to become a national program. Not just on the supply side, but on the demand side,” he said. “We get calls from all over the country, from cities that want to

Commander Adams recently took a call from North Carolina. The officers asked if the MPD has a policy in place for Lights On! “There is no set policy. This is community engagement. It’s not difficult. You partner with an autobody shop or store, whoever does repairs in your city, and then you find funding,” he said. “We have to be more compassionate when we think about the people we’re pulling over and their financial situations. I issue them this coupon and the person may not get involved in the cycle that leads to driving after revocation or suspension.” Adams is working on building a tracking mechanism within the Minneapolis Police Department’s

records management system to get a better handle on when and where officers are providing the free vouchers. While it will be nice to put some numbers to the program, it is hard to put a dollar value on how these positive interactions will influence policecommunity relations overall. “The beauty of this program is everyone, from police officers to drivers to community leaders, can get behind this effort in your community,” said Lights On! Program Director Sherman Patterson. “We can all relate to being pulled over. Each voucher has the potential to turn a lose-lose situation – the traffic stop - into a win-win where we’re helping low income drivers and changing how officers are viewed.” The folks at Microgrants don’t like the term “fix -it ticket” but they’re not afraid to point out how the program really helps repair community relationships, one traffic stop at a time.

CHIEFS RESOURCES Some municipalities already participating in the program include Maplewood, Minneapolis, St. Paul, Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Columbia Heights, Crystal, Edina, Mounds View, Richfield, Robbinsdale, Roseville, Spring Lake Park, St. Louis Park, West St. Paul and Corcoran.

NEXT STEPS If you’d like to get your community and your department involved, contact Mike McCloskey or Sherman Patterson at info@microgrants.net or call 612-200-8174.



MCPA Board of Directors

Burnsville Chief joins MCPA’s Board of Directors

ERIC GIESEKE Burnsville Police Chief

MCPA’s board of directors has appointed Burnsville police chief Eric Gieseke to fill the remaining term of David Ebinger, who retired over the summer. Gieseke has served 29 years with Burnsville Police including the past 6 as its chief. In that time, his department became the first to implement a body-worn camera program and he has also overseen construction of a new police station. Chief Gieseke says MCPA must continue to be brutally honest about law enforcement shortcomings in a challenging environment and strive to maintain and improve public trust in the profession. “I’m willing and able to share my positive and negative experiences and

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to be a resource support to any member while focusing on bringing the highest quality police services to our members.” He credits the association with helping him work on media relations as well as body camera and technology audit legislation.

Gieseke received his Bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Wisconsin and earned a Master’s in Criminal Justice Leadership from St. Paul’s Concordia University.


First Call for Help MCPA provides a new service to better support the health and wellness of the men and women in Minnesota law enforcement BY ANDREW WITTENBORG, MINNESOTA CHIEFS OF POLICE ASSOCIATION

wellness Last fall when the MCPA staff was scheduling Dr. Paul Nystrom’s first training series, we openly debated whether the word wellness should be in the title. What kind of message would it send officers tired of more healthy eating lectures? What is wellness anyway? A year later, hundreds of law enforcement officers have attended Nystrom’s series Strength and Resiliency: A Tactical Approach to Wellness. There is a list of departments looking to fit him into their schedule next year. Wellness is not a new word or concept but the people heading up MCPA’s expanded wellness initiative believe is has become a buzzword in law enforcement. “Wellness is that broad spectrum of so many parts of our life. I think we’ve gotten in these times where we focus only on one area,” says Sonya Eastham, who works in private practice as Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor. “You can eat perfectly but if you never exercise or sleep properly, you’re never going to be well.” The Oxford Dictionary traces its origin back to the 1650s calling it the “opposite of illness.” Most major publications, like the New York Times, now have sections devoted to it. This fall, MCPA is launching First Call for Help. It is a service to build a stronger network of wellness resources and support across our state. “We want to be intentional about our work in this area and bring greater consistency to the level of support available to chiefs and their agencies,” says Andy Skoogman, executive director of MCPA. It can be easy to identify a chaplain or mental health counselor in some areas of Minnesota and an impossible task elsewhere. Plus the landscape changes frequently as practioneers enter and exit the field. First Call for Help will work to identify wellness providers who have experience with law enforcement and are willing to make themselves available. “MCPA does not have the capacity or expertise to build your wellness program. But our work with peer support has taught us we can make stronger connections between municipal law enforcement and local health and wellness providers,” says Skoogman. “As we make those connections, we hope to truly become your ‘First Call for Help.’”

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Cover Story

physicial wellness Dr. Paul Nystrom reflects on a year spent with officers from around Minnesota

When Paul Nystrom sees a patient, it’s usually not under the best of circumstances. Such is the life of a physician practicing emergency medicine.

presented at all of MCPA’s leadership academies and held custom sessions for departments from northern Minnesota, to the suburbs and Minneapolis police.

“I occasionally get to make a difference with lifesaving interventions, but a lot of times it’s chronic disease and I have just a little window of time to address it,” Nystrom said. “I don’t think I’ve ever had a patient come back and say hey, you told me to stop drinking so much soda.”

“I talk to cops and realized they are a tough audience. That doesn’t change,” he said. “It’s sort of like every time I get up and speak, the first few minutes the audience just looks cold. This is gonna be harsh.”

But in the past year, plenty of Minnesota police officers have told him that and a lot of other things. He

But as a licensed peace officer who works part-time with the Plymouth police department he not only understands the world of a law enforcement officer, he knows the

Every time I get up and speak, the first few minutes the audience just looks cold. This is gonna be harsh.

has gotten hundreds of them talking about their health, making lifestyle changes and recommending his wellness series to fellow officers. “It’s fulfilling in this work to actually see someone make a change and come back and tell you about it.” Nystrom has not counted how many officers have attended one of his sessions, but in the past year he has 18

preferred diet. “I mean I like carbs. I’d still eat pizza every day if it wasn’t so crappy for me,” Nystrom said. “I love pizza. I’d drink big jugs of Mountain Dew if I could.” It was his go-to diet 10 years ago when he served in the Navy out in California. Then Nystrom got introduced to CrossFit and thought, as long as he was spending so much time

working out, he should probably start eating better too. The concept of wellness started to play a significant role in his life. By the time he moved back home to Minnesota, he realized the challenges he faced in the military were the same for the people he knew in both health care and public safety. “You have to somehow navigate the world we live in,” Nystrom said. That means being open to a complete look at your health, from the physical to the spiritual and mental. “Are you exercising? Are you sleeping? Let’s look at insulin and not just your lipid panel.” Anyone who attends one of his training sessions will quickly learn Dr. Nystrom does not subscribe to any one point of view or program. His reading list is changing, his resources are updated. That is why he has had a hard time getting behind some of the outreach offered by IACP and other organizations. “It’s just following the party line, like eat your whole grains and your low fat. And you have to eat breakfast every day,” he said. “I reached out to them and said, hey I don’t get paid for this. I’m not trying to sell a book. I would be willing to update your stuff.” More than anything, Nystrom is happy to see wellness grabbing a foothold in


I like carbs. I’d still eat pizza every day if it wasn’t so crappy for me.

a profession he loves and supports. He believes law enforcement will need to change even more to better prepare for the next generation coming on duty.

at the system level, the department level. Hey, we’re all gonna do this. Whereas here in Minnesota, it’s very individualized,” he said.

one reason why Nystrom will continue to appear at Minnesota Chiefs trainings and schedule custom sessions with regions and individual agencies.

“They have much more of an interest in their work live balance. Right from the get go they are more upfront about it,” he said. “They don’t want a watch at retirement after busting their butts. They want to work and have a life now. I think that has changed culturally across the board.”

The stressors, including making time and funds available to support wellness initiatives, can be difficult for small agencies and their communities. That’s

“The thing that makes me the most happy is when I hear stories of people coming up to me and telling me they changed something,” he said.

Nystrom continues to connect with his audience long after his sessions end. Sometimes it’s on the Road to Wellness message board maintained by MCPA. Occasionally he’ll encounter them in person. “I had one just last week. A guy who works in dispatch came up to me and said doc, I wanted to let you know I changed the way I eat and I’ve lost 40 pounds in the last year,” Nystrom said. “Better than that though, my wife has had migraines her entire life. She switched her eating too, she hasn’t had a migraine in over a year.” You will not find a lot of published research on the impact physical wellness is having on the law enforcement profession. For one thing, the work is all pretty new. But Nystrom believes it may also be a difficult area to isolate and study. He is also watching other programs evolve around the country as support for wellness programs grows. “Sometimes there’s a lot more buy-in FALL 2018

CHIEFS RESOURCES Join MCPA’s Road to Wellness online group and receive updates on Dr. Nystrom’s reading list and wellness sources.

NEXT STEPS Visit the Training section of www.mnchiefs.org to learn more about Dr. Nystrom’s scheduled trainings and how you can book custom sessions for your agency or region.

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Cover Story

mental wellness Deputy Sonya Eastham works to build a network of mental health providers who can support Minnesota law enforcement

When it comes to helping more Minnesota police officers become truly well, Sonya Eastham sees two obstacles in her path. The first is pretty evident. It’s the stigma that still prevents cops from sitting down and talking with a professional – or anyone - about their life, on and off duty. “The cynicism, the bitterness, the destroyed relationships, the unhealthy coping skills. It doesn’t have to be part and parcel of a career in law enforcement,” Eastham says.

identify mental health professionals who can work with cops and, in turn, offer assistance to chiefs and other law enforcement leaders. “We hear this all of the time: There aren’t enough providers who are good at working with cops.” For Eastham, becoming good at it started informally. As a sheriff’s deputy, she realized she was the person often looking out for others. She was the person who would invite people to coffee to talk through a tough call.

The cynicism, the bitterness, the destroyed relationships, the unhealthy coping skills. It doesn’t have to be part and parcel of a career in law enforcement. The other barrier is finding the professionals available to work with officers who are ready to accept help. Eastham believes tackling that barrier may help chip away at the other. “The providers I know that work with law enforcement, we’re kind of insular,” she says. “We only know of a few others like us. We don’t really have that opportunity to gather people in different parts of the state.” Eastham and MCPA aims to change that. This winter, the Minnesota Chiefs will launch an initiative to 20

“I was always taking whatever training I could about law enforcement stress and healthy relationship,” says Eastham who is married to a law enforcement officer. “We’re two cops raising children and I didn’t want to be a statistic.” Eastham’s work with MCPA began as part of the Peer Support training launched a few years ago. The goal was to provide stronger professional and personal support to CLEOs. “The primary thing we’ve been working on with the Chiefs is the peer

support component,” Eastham says. “That acknowledgement that the chiefs are not alone. That position is a very isolated. You’re the top of the heap. Everyone looks to you for direction and advice.” The support system has helped some Minnesota chiefs with everything from the ordinary to the extraordinary. They develop a network where they can safely bounce an idea or get advice on working through a challenge. On the worst days, they can also find someone to help them navigate the uncertain world of a crisis. “I can be your driver and get you from place to place. I can be your sounding board and I’m not going to judge or step in and take over. I’m just here to help you be the best person you can be,” she explains. Peer Support has worked well and will continue to be a part of the Minnesota Chiefs training calendar. But Eastham believes more can be done to support the mental wellness of CLEOs and their personnel. It will begin with a more organized process to identify those experts and clinicians who know the unique world of Minnesota law enforcement. And, as she develops her list of resources, Eastham is ready to accept recommendations from chiefs and others who know of people with a strong track record. “The bigger we can get that list of MINNESOTA POLICE CHIEF

sergeant by night and, when time permits, a mental health professional by day. She, and other providers like her, may not always have the capacity to add new clients which is why she is motivated to help develop this new referral system.

We should work to put more structures in place to really support maintaining mental and emotional wellness.


people who have worked with law enforcement or military, the better it is for us. Because the thing about mental health is, it’s kind of like dating. There’s no guarantee the first person you go and talk to is going to be a good fit for you.” For many years, Eastham was the EAP, or employee assistance program coordinator, for the Ramey County Sheriff’s Office. Now she has returned to the street, working as a patrol

“We hire the best and brightest and most healthy in mind and body, but over the course of our career that can deteriorate, Eastham says. “Now we should work to put more structures in place to really support maintaining mental and emotional wellness.

Sonya Eastham is a Ramsey County Sheriff’s Deputy Sergeant with nearly 25 year’s experience across all areas of the department. She is also a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor with a private mental health practice serving law enforcement officers and family members. Eastham’s work with critical incident stress management (CISM) teams (Central EMS team and Anoka County Public Safety Peer Support Team) to help provide support and education to first responders following critical incidents.

NEXT STEPS You can contact Eastham and offer mental health provider recommendations by emailing Sonya@MNchiefs.org. More information on her work and the program is available in the Wellness section of www.mnchiefs.org

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Cover Story

spiritual wellness A hometown guy reaches out and finds support for him and his agency

Tony Paetznick considers himself a fortunate guy. He is also increasingly rare in our society. Paetznick is the kid who grew up and never moved too far away from home. “I’ve lived in four different houses, all within the 7.2 square miles of New Brighton. I went to school here. I got my start in law enforcement here at age 14 in the Explorers program. I just never left,” he said. Now as the chief of police in his hometown, Paetznick is quick to admit there is a lot he didn’t know about the place until he reached out and built a faith community partnership. “Faith community partnerships, police chaplaincy, they fit right in line with what law enforcement in the 21st Century is trying to do and that’s community engagement,” he said.

the chaplaincy program in new and different directions. “My hypothesis is that there needs to be more localized and regional connections identified and available. We know that like all aspects of health, whether it’s physical, mental or spiritual, people are going to need support and at different times and in different ways.” It was Carlson who worked with Paetznick to build his faith partnership in New Brighton. “He thought we were the right sized agency to pilot the concept,” Paetznick said. “So we identified the faith communities or churches in our jurisdiction and reached out. We got really authentic with them early on. In the first meeting we had, we said okay, we’re going to go around the table and

Faith community partnerships, police chaplaincy. They fit right in line with what law enforcement in the 21st Century is trying to do. MCPA’s board of directors appointed Paetznick chaplain last year following the retirement of Pastor Dan Carlson. Carlson is an ordained minister, Paetznick is not. But the two men have long worked together and Paetznick sees opportunities to lead 22

we’re gonna share our faith stories and we’re gonna let the cops in the room go first.” Paetznick believes that meeting delivered the message that his agency was serious about the relationship and willing to talk about things in

the spiritual realm. Now there are regular lunches and enough trust that everything from neighborhood news to more divisive topics like race and immigration are explored. “When they asked about them, I said good, because those are topics we are challenged with on a daily basis. We have some things that are equally challenging for both institutions that we can come alongside each other and learn more about,” Paetznick said. While the health and stability of his community is definitely a benefit of the partnership, Paetznick is just as concerned about the health of his personnel. “The leader sets the tone for the agency in so many ways in identifying what’s important,” he said. “What we wanted to look at in New Brighton was the spiritual care of our personnel.” Like some agencies, Paetznick can turn to his county and request a chaplain to respond to the scene of a crisis. But it was the faith partnership that helped him establish a community chaplain just for his agency. It is a local priest who has taken the time to train and develop relationships with his officers in good times and can be counted on to respond when things go bad. These are some of the ideas and resources MCPA wants to make available to police agencies across


Minnesota. A chaplain may not be readily available or even known in the areas where they serve. “I want to be able to point them to someone nearby who could address their need,” he said. Paetznick has already pre-identified resources available in some areas of the state. His work to establish spiritual wellness programs and faith community partnerships will also be featured at MCPA Leadership Academies. Finally, a Chiefs Survey will also ask members to identify their needs and interests when it comes to their own spiritual care and those of their personnel. “Spirituality can mean a lot of different things to people in a lot

of different ways. It’s not trying to promote a certain brand or religion or anything like that,” Paetznick said. “The spiritual aspect of my life has no

doubt carried me through the deepest, darkest most stormy periods of my life and brought me out the other side a better person.”

CHIEFS RESOURCES A recent Pew Research survey explored the growing divide that exists in many communities whether they are urban, suburban or rural. It found a majority of Americans (59%) feel some attachment to their local community, but only 16% feel very attached. Urban and rural areas feel misunderstood by those living in different types of communities Find more community engagement information in the Resources section of MNchiefs.org.

NEXT STEPS If you can help identify spiritual support resources in your area or need a referral, MCPA Chaplain Tony Paetznick is available at chaplain@mnchiefs. org. Take the Chiefs Survey on Wellness by visiting Resources at MNchiefs.

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Critical Issues Forum

San Diego Police Youtube Video

Recruiting the

Next Generation

Police agencies across the country try new tactics in an escalating battle to find new officers In San Diego, it’s a video showing millennials patrolling the beach on ATVs with high-energy music blasting in the background. Birmingham has launched a new initiative to lure Alabama officers out of retirement. Seattle has dropped billboards into the middle of Indianapolis with a simple message from 2,000 miles away: we’re hiring. The people behind the campaigns and the dollars spent to create them make no apologies. "Recruiting is one of the highest priorities of the office," says Sgt. Carrie McNally in an interview with a Seattle television station. "This year, we're working a little harder.” Within many states, there is a tug-of-war between big cities and small. Albuquerque plans to poach more than 60 officers from other 26

law enforcement agencies as part of an effort to grow the size of the department by 100 officers. Before anyone leaves, Santa Fe is stepping up by offering new recruits $1,000 incentives once they complete the police training academy. Lateral recruits – officers transferring from other departments – can receive $3,000 in installments after reaching certain milestones.

in Bloomington. The event called Strategies to Recruit and Retain Law Enforcement Officers will be held at the Bloomington Schneider Theater. It will also be livestreamed to police agencies and community stakeholders across the state.

Minnesota is hardly immune to any of these battles. There is a history of other cities swooping into the state to recruit cops. Smaller agency chiefs have long lamented losing experienced officers to larger suburban departments.

“We hear plenty concern form chiefs and community leaders about the pool of available candidates and negative portrayal of policing that show up in the news every week,” says Andrew Wittenborg, MPCA director of communications. “But we also live in an economy with historically low unemployment and there are other demographic trends that will impact the jobs forecast.”

MCPA will shine a spotlight on the situation and explore solutions in a Critical Issues Forum held next month

Minnesota’s State Demographer Susan Brower, who will present new data at the forum, says the state is already



beginning to feel the impact brought on by loss of baby-boomers when they retire from the workforce. Brower and her team believe the state is the midst of a workforce trend that will likely continue for the next 15 years. There is concern the shortage will hurt Minnesota’s economic growth. Brower will also touch on the impact technology is having on some Minnesota professions and how it could impact the law

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enforcement workforce. At the recent IACP conference in Orlando, a survey of attendees found three-fourths expect they will need to learn new digital skills to be effective in their roles. About the same number said they believe it will be difficult to reskill employees to perform new digital tasks. “The research tells us that while most police officers are excited by the opportunities new digital technologies afford, many are challenged in their use,” says Rachel Phillips who helped conduct the survey for Accenture. Most of the respondents said they believe technology will not lessen their interactions with citizens and the communities they serve. Some anticipate increased opportunities for job-sharing and more flexible work. The Critical Issues Forum will be both an opportunity for chiefs and law enforcement leaders to share ideas with each other and also access materials they can use to support their own recruitment and FALL 2018


A new web portal will also highlight opportunities to explore careers in law enforcement and help candidates and the public get answers on what it takes to become a cop in the 21st Century. retention strategies. MCPA will launch a comprehensive digital media campaign during the event.

Registration for the Critical Issues Forum is free and open to MCPA

“There will be a media kit available to our members that they can share with school resource officers and other personnel who work on recruitment,” says Wittenborg. “This will be a campaign dedicated to showing people what it’s really like to work as a police officer in Minnesota and why young people choose to wear the badge.”

members as well as municipal leaders and community stakeholders. The event will begin at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, December 12th. More information is available at www. mnchiefs.org.

CHIEFS RESOURCES More information and links to the police recruitment videos is available in the Resource section of www.mnchiefs.org. You will also find the full Accenture Survey: Reimagining the Police Workforce: Future Vision.

NEXT STEPS Register for the December 12th Critical Issues Forum in the Training section of www.mnchiefs.oef.




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Millennial are currently Minnesota’s largest generation with 1.7 million people or about a third of the state’s population. 85% of them are working, which is equivalent with Generation X levels.

Minnesota has seen 20% growth in its population of color since 2010, which ranks 10th highest among the 50 states. Minnesota’s population of color is growing faster than most other states with the largest numeric growth among black and Asian pollutions.

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Well Read

Good Cop, Good Cop A Minnesota cop offers a pep talk and strategies for officers to not only survive a career in public safety, but to live well. 30 years ago, Brian Casey thought was would become a high school health teacher. He was studying to get a degree in Health Education from the University of Minnesota and started working as a paramedic. Then he became a police officer.

The book covers a range of wellness topics from stress and sleep to cop think, purpose-centered policing and a balanced inner and outer life. In addition to his fellow officers, Casey hopes to reach their families and mental health professionals who are trying to understand the unique struggle cops face and how to best support them. “I wrote the book in part because I noticed I had way more to say about officer wellness than could be said in a roll call briefing,” Casey says. After about three years of researching and writing on nights and weekends, I think I came up with a book that is very useful to both individual officers and public safety agencies.”

“Now, after all of these years, I find myself doing health education with a special interest in officer mental health,” says Casey, who is a sergeant with the St. Paul Police Department and a director with its Employee Assistance Program. Casey has taken his life as a cop with an interest in health and turned it into Good Cop, Good Cop: A Get Healthy, Stay Healthy Guide for Law Enforcement. The book is available through Amazon and a website he created. “I want to reassure cops that they are going to be okay and that some of the distress they feel is due to the necessary, but sometimes problematic adaptations of being a good cop,” he says. “Other times their distress is a result of neglect or inattention to their wellbeing.” Casey writes that society suffers and when cops suffer. Health and wellness can be diminished as a result of personal neglect, lack of recovery from the flash-bang of psychological trauma and intimate exposure to the suffering of others. Officers are trained to be self-reliant which can make them less willing to see good help. 30



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Coming in 2019


MINNESOTA POLICE CHIEF ONLINE A follow-up report on MCPA’s Critical Issues Forum: Strategies to Recruit and Retain Law Enforcement Officers


MINNESOTA POLICE CHIEF WINTER ISSUE The Technology Issue focuses on emerging technologies in law enforcement. Contact MPCA or Synergetic Endeavors to learn more about partner opportunities to provide content for this issue.



MARCH 2019

MINNESOTA POLICE CHIEF ONLINE An overview of Minnesota law enforcement training and education in 2019. Contact MPCA or Synergetic Endeavors to learn more about partner opportunities to provide content for this issue.

APRIL 2019

MINNESOTA CHIEFS MARKETPLACE AND ETI GUIDE A guide of MCPA’s biggest event of the year. The Executive Training Institute and Law Enforcement Expo returns to St. Cloud with world-class speakers and educational session. The guide will highlight the vendors supporting Minnesota law enforcement. FALL 2018


ADVERTISER INDEX EXECUTIVE BOARD PRESIDENT Dan Hatten Chief of Police, Hutchinson 320-587-2242 VICE-PRESIDENT Jeff Potts Chief of Police, Bloomington 952-563-4901 SECOND VICE-PRESIDENT Dave Bentrud Chief of Police, Waite Park 320-229-2661 THIRD VICE-PRESIDENT Eric Werner Chief of Police, Maple Grove 763-494-6101 SECRETARY

Stephanie Revering Chief of Police, Crystal 763-531-1010

TREASURER Tim Fournier Chief of Police, New Hope 651-531-5141 SERGEANT-AT-ARMS

Matt Gottschalk Chief of Police, Corcoran 763-420-8966

IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT Michael Goldstein Chief of Police, Plymouth 952-882-2600

DIRECTORS David Ebinger Chief of Police, Moorhead


Eric Klang Chief of Police, Pequot Lakes


Mike Mastin Chief of Police, Bemidji


Roger Pohlman Chief of Police, Red Wing


Michael Risvold Chief of Police, Wayzata


Jeff Tate Chief of Police, Shakopee


Brian Weierke Chief of Police, Fridley


CHAPLAIN Tony Paetznick Chief of Police, New Brighton


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The Minnesota Police Chief, the official magazine of The Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association, is published quarterly to serve the police leadership in Minnesota. Association members receive Minnesota Police Chief as a benefit of membership. The Minnesota Police Chief is published by the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association, 803 Old Highway 8 NW, Suite 1, New Brighton, MN 55112. It is the policy of the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association that all articles reflect only the views of the author and that publication of articles or advertisements within Minnesota Police Chief does not constitute endorsement by the Association or its agents of products, services, or views expressed herein. No representation is made as to the accuracy here of and the publication is printed subject to errors and omissions. Editorial contributions to the Minnesota Police Chief are always welcome. Contributions should be sent to the Managing Editor and are subject to review and acceptance by the Magazine Committee. Editorial contributions will be handled with reasonable care; however, the publisher assumes no responsibility for the safety of artwork, photographs, or manuscripts. SENIOR EDITOR Andrew Wittenborg andrew@mnchiefs.org 651/457-0677


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Profile for MN Chiefs of Police Assoc.

Minnesota Police Chief  

The Fall 2018 issue of Minnesota Police Chiefs highlights the association's First Call for Help program as well as the LightsOn! initiative...

Minnesota Police Chief  

The Fall 2018 issue of Minnesota Police Chiefs highlights the association's First Call for Help program as well as the LightsOn! initiative...