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Listening sessions find shared values between communities, DPS and law enforcement

ST. PAUL — Following a series of listening sessions throughout the state, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) found that community members believe that if law enforcement officers are selected based on specific values and then trained in the skills necessary to be highly proficient in their duties, then trust in officers and DPS will increase.

The listening sessions revealed the values of respect, honesty, leadership and service are the overarching and shared values of the community and DPS. While these values are in alignment with the core values of DPS law enforcement divisions, the agency will ensure that the community’s input is integrated in the Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division, Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the State Patrol.

The seven community listening sessions occurred last year in Rochester, Burnsville, Maple Grove, St. Cloud, Duluth, Minneapolis and Thief River Falls.

The meetings were designed to explore the values and characteristics that community members believe contribute to trust in police officers. The objective was to learn those values and align them with those of DPS.

Community members had the opportunity to provide recommendations about what they believe is most important in the recruitment and selection of women and men for state law enforcement agencies. In addition, focus group sessions were conducted with staff representing the State Patrol, Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement.

The results of the listening sessions and the shared core values for each agency are available on the DPS website.