Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Cities’ Finest: LMC’s Work with Police

An Albert Lea patrolman and chief of police are pictured with the city’s first police dog in 1961.

One of the groups that helps to make cities function so well—and so safely—is police departments. As evidenced by the photo above printed in Minnesota Municipalities magazine, police work in cities has come a long way! While the addition of a K9 unit was the newest and most exciting advancement in 1961, times have certainly changed since Shep (the dog) arrived in Albert Lea.

And as the job of peace officer becomes more complicated, the League has responded with a variety of behind-the-scenes services to keep Minnesota police departments focused on the important stuff—keeping residents safe.

So what services does LMC provide to help officers? Here’s a quick recap of the highlights:

Legal and Administrative Research: The law is constantly changing—so the League also provides assistance with the civil side of police work by analyzing and explaining changes in civil statutes, civil case law, and litigation trends. Police departments and city administrators also face questions every day about issues like employment, data practices, or human resources. When they need assistance answering those questions, the League is here to act as a resource.

Coverage: The League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust (LMCIT) understands the risks of Minnesota municipal police departments because we insure approximately 98 percent of them in the state. Subsequently, the Trust prices coverage for peace officers that is appropriate for their risk—and that doesn’t break a city’s bank.

Loss Control: The League hosted its first loss control workshops in 1988, and the educational offerings for public safety officers have only grown since. The League has also developed a list of injury prevention programs like the Training Safety Officer program, the slip/trip/fall program, and promoting the safety lift for difficult lifts of heavy people.

PATROL Online Training: The PATROL (Police-Accredited Training Online) program started in 2006 in an effort to reach officers in all four corners of the state every day, 24 hours a day. It provides the up-to-date law enforcement training that officers need—including POST credits they need for continuing education requirements, as well as OSHA mandates. The program is cost effective and can be accessed by officers from anywhere they have access to the internet. Find out more about PATROL.

Contract Assistance: Sometimes police departments need help establishing their mutual aid agreements and joint powers agreements for multi-agency cooperatives like task forces or training centers—and that’s where the League’s contract review services comes in. This began as a formal service (free for members) in 2006, and we also provide guidance for contracted policing between cities and townships.

Public Safety Liaison: Two years ago, the League hired former police officer and county deputy Rob Boe as our public safety project coordinator. Rob’s main focus is keeping public safety workers safe on the job. And with more than 25 years of experience, Rob has a deep understanding of law enforcement because he has walked in their shoes. Check out his blog at

One thing is certain: police work will continue to change. And we at the League of Minnesota Cities are committed to changing with it and continuing to support our cities’ finest!

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