UMN releases review of campus police

The University completed its review of UMPD, with the consultation of Dr. Cedric Alexander, which provides recommendations to “align” policing with community expectations.

by Ava Thompson, Campus Activities Reporter

President Joan Gabel announced Tuesday that the University of Minnesota has completed its review of the University of Minnesota Police Department and public safety policies, which began September 2020.

Dr. Cedric Alexander, a consultant hired by the University to create the report, and his team sorted their recommendations into eight pillars, each with its own set of suggestions for bridging the gap between UMPD and the community.

The recommendations include demilitarization of police, equipping officers with body cameras, and creating an open forum for community feedback and accountability. It also suggests implementing trauma and mental health training, and posting UMPD training content in order to engage the campus community.

The report begins by discussing the relationship between UMPD and the University community, citing “an undeniable tension between those who feel more policing is the solution and those who feel more policing is the problem.”

While UMPD has not received many complaints and use of force incidents, according to the report, its close ties with the Minneapolis Police Department following the killing of George Floyd at the hands of former MPD officers provided the university with the opportunity to think differently about policing and public safety.

“There is a strong desire to re-imagine and co-create the future of UMN campus policing philosophy and practice to ensure that ALL campus community stakeholder groups feel they are being fairly and equitably treated and policed,” the report states.

The police killing of Floyd and other Black people sparked nationwide protests over police brutality and social inequality this summer. Student activists have held demonstrations petitioning University administration to make reforms to UMPD, including disarming campus officers and establishing a community-led committee with oversight of the department.

Correction: A previous version of this story misstated the number of pillars in the report. The report’s recommendations are sorted into eight pillars.

This is a breaking news report. More information may be added as it becomes available.