The Minnesota Department of Human Rights has concluded that the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) has, for years, unfairly policed the city’s African American community. The department’s report, however, had few recommendations for solving the problem. In the main, the report looked to a new inspectorate to supervise policing through the review of complaints.
The Caux Round Table for Moral Capitalism has proposed a solution: integrate the police with the community around aptitudes and skills in service. In short, to hire police for character first and then train them for competence.
The Caux Round Table also advocates certain principles for moral government. The foundational principle, supported by many wisdom traditions, is that public office is a public trust. That standard obligates police to be fiduciary trustees for our well-being and prosperity – for the well-being and prosperity of every citizen. Trustees should always strive to be persons of high and noble character.
This vision of just policing is not new. It was first proposed in 1829 by Sir Robert Peel when he created the first modern police force – the London Metropolitan Police.
Now, happily, the department’s report endorses both the Caux Round Table’s solution and the Peel Principles for community policing. The report says “Second, MPD must move quickly to improve the quality of its trainings. At its root, policing is a public service. Trainings for new officer hires and veteran officers, therefore, should significantly shift in tone from a paramilitary approach to a public service approach.”
Sir Robert insisted that community policing was to “prevent crime and disorder, as an alternative to their repression by military force …” He, therefore, proposed that “the police are the public and that the public are the police, the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.”
We believe that in 2022, the State of Minnesota has an opportunity to take the best of Peel’s Principles and integrate them with what is now known regarding community/police shared values and character-based peace officer selection. Minnesota could lead the nation in establishing a new model of policing (i.e., a Minnesota Model). This new model could be codified and utilized to positively influence all future public safety initiatives, resulting in increased procedural justice, mutual trust, cooperation and safety for all.
To give public support to this best practice of community policing, we are presenting this Friday at 8:30 am at Landmark Center our Dayton Awards to the retiring chiefs of police in Minneapolis and St. Paul for their personal commitment to policing as a public trust.
Please join us as we recognize chiefs Medaria Arradondo and Todd Axtell by registering here.
The event is free and will last about an hour.