Second Ward, Minneapolis

This is the public policy forum of Minneapolis Second Ward (Green) City Council Member Cam Gordon and his staff. We use this space to talk about some of what Cam’s working on, explain his positions, and share a little of what life in City Hall is like. Please feel free to comment on posts, within certain ground rules. See our disclaimer, including ground rules, here: http://secondward.blogspot.com/2006/05/disclaimer.html#links

Friday, November 02, 2007

Internal Affairs Audit

One of the recommendations of the Civilian Review Authority Work Group I helped form and lead last year was that the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) conduct an external audit of the City's other organization charged with holding police officers accountable: the Internal Affairs Unit.

Earlier this year, the MPD came to Council with a proposal to give a no-bid contract to the Everett Law Firm from Buffalo, MN. The reasoning at that time was that Everett had a good working relationship with the MPD from past collaborations and Everett understands the Minnesota

Driven by objections that I raised, along with Council Members Glidden, Hodges, Schiff, and Remington, the Council rejected that proposal. We frown on no-bid contracts, and the closeness of the two organizations called into question the extent to which Everett could conduct a meaningful external audit of the IAU. The Council directed the MPD to put out a Request for Proposals and go through the formal process.

Today, the MPD received approval from the Council to enter into a contract with the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), a group based out of Washington, DC with a national and even international reputation in police policy work. Note that this is a different contractor than MPD was poised to hire in April.

I consider this a very positive development, given PERF’s national stature and track record and clear independence from MPD. I am hopeful that this audit will help us improve police practices in the future.

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