News and Resources

 COVID 19: The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting law enforcement agencies in a variety of ways, and the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association (MCPA) is helping police chiefs and sheriffs plan and prepare. The MCPA has begun hosting weekly conference calls with chief law enforcement officers from across the state.

On Monday, roughly 50 law enforcement leaders joined the call, sharing updates from their cities, counties and regions. Commissioner John Harrington, Department of Public Safety, addressed questions and concerns about personal protective equipment (PPE) shortages, potential support from the National Guard, the safety of breath alcohol testing and obtaining a permit to purchase when law enforcement agencies have shut their doors to public access. 

“Police officers protect and serve – in good times and in bad – and our role as an association is to support and guide our members through it all,” says MCPA president Chief Jeff Potts, Bloomington. “These conference calls are just one way we are working together to navigate the challenges caused by coronavirus.”

Many agencies reported low supply of PPE, especially N95 masks, which are more efficient at filtering airborne particles than regular surgical masks. Law enforcement from Worthington noted that a manufacturing plant there is working to produce shields that would allow masks to be reused.

One smaller, outstate agency is already seeing a 20 percent reduction on patrol because of illness and is concerned about more officers getting sick. Commissioner Harrington said discussions about requesting aid from the National Guard are taking place.

Police chiefs and sheriffs raised concerns over breath alcohol testing and virus transmission. The MCPA shared the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension’s (BCA) latest guidance on how to best administer the test to avoid transmission of the disease. 

Several agencies said they’re seeing a large increase in permit to purchase applications. Some wondered if staff must process applications when their agencies are closed to public access. The MCPA is seeking further legal clarification on that issue as well as whether non-sworn staff would be considered essential employees.

The MCPA is continually updating its Pandemic Resources page with the very latest information and encourages agencies to lean on the association and one another as we work through these challenging times.


Additional News and Resources

How should you report emergencies in the midst of COVID-19?

Jordan police respond to COVID-19 'disturbances'
SW News Media

Hibbing police respond to new territory of COVID-19
Hibbing Tribune

COVID-19: Hennepin County Jail population cut by 26%

Reduce police shootings? Cops need more training, group says
St. Paul Pioneer Press

MN chiefs examine new ways to help those threatening suicide

Report: Violent crime up, police down in WS cities
Star Tribune

Mpls mayor wants to hire, train new class of police cadets
Star Tribune

Mpls, St. Paul struggle to build budgets that rein in violence

Baltimore applications increase during 'Comeback' campaign
Baltimore Sun

PERF explores police recruitment and retention crisis
Police One

Two groups give Boston Police $500,000 to support wellness
Boston Globe

To find more good cop, a few big cities change hiring process

Wisconsin mourns death of 2 officers in separate incidents


Women get first-hand experience at Ramsey County Sheriff's Academy


New chief caps renaissance in female leadership
Burnsville Sun This week

Policing with patience, how the role is changing

Women in policing workshops hopes to break barriers
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Seattle police sign contract with Army, hope for recruitment

New Haven police hiring policy will forgive DUI, but not medical marijuana
New Haven Register

18-year old is Minnesota's newest police officer
Bemidji Pioneer

Desperate for recruits, police consider non-citizens
The Marshall Project

Why no one wants to be a cop anymore
City Pages

MPR News: A discussion of police recruitment and Wear the Badge
Minnesota Public Radio

Rare bird: MN Eagle Scout earns every badge, studies law enforement
Star Tribune

Chief's View: Headline erred, reinforced negative narrative of law enforcement
Duluth News Tribune

Who wants to be a police officer? Applications plummet
Washington Post

The History of the Police Badge
Balance Careers

Comparing Police Views and Public Views
Pew Research Center

Work begins on east metro training facility
Woodbury Bulletin