Mpls. unveils group for police conduct oversight

The department appointed the leaders of several committees aimed at restoring public trust.

by Nick Wicker

The Minneapolis Police Department announced on Tuesday who will serve on newly established oversight committees that aim to increase the department’s accountability.

The committees’ makeup, which will include police officers and community members, was discussed at a Police Conduct Oversight Commission meeting, just weeks after the U.S. Department of Justice  recommended the creation of the committees.

A steering committee and five subcommittees will oversee MPD’s practices, including communication, oversight, community relations and coaching.

Deputy Chief and co-chair of the steering committee Kris Arneson said the committee meetings would not be open to the public.

Chuck Turchick, a continuing education student at the University of Minnesota and member of the oversight subcommittee, said he would prefer that the committee meetings be open to the community. He said he plans to suggest his subcommittee’s meetings be public next week and will resign if the suggestion is ignored.

Michelle Phelps, assistant professor in the University’s Department of Sociology, said police departments often face problems implementing solutions to transparency and accountability concerns.

Community members’ contributions to discussions on police operations often don’t lead to direct discipline, Phelps said.

Arneson said most of the committees will be dissolved after six months.