College Statement Regarding Minneapolis Police Department Affiliation
by Minneapolis College President Sharon Pierce
The college has received a few emails from community members seeking information and/or clarification regarding the nature of our relationship with the Minneapolis Police Department.
This is the college’s response to all inquiries:
Minneapolis College Administration is acutely aware of the public perceptions around the Minneapolis Police Department in the wake of the tragic death of George Floyd. As part of our commitment to closing equity gaps in education and supporting efforts to bridge racial divides across the community, we advocate fully for law enforcement officers to uphold a standard of care that demonstrates value for the lives of all of those they serve.
Unlike the Minneapolis public school district, Minneapolis College does not have any formal agreements with the Minneapolis Police Department. They are, however, the law enforcement agency upon which we rely for responding to 911 calls and other public safety matters on our campus. In addition, our campus has relied on off-duty police officers to provide supplemental security during our large events that require coverage beyond our Public Safety Department’s capacity. The individual police officers we have contracted with in the past have been selected based on their high level of cultural fluency and familiarity with our campus’ culture. At this time, Minneapolis College will not continue to contract with individuals from the Minneapolis Police Department for event coverage.
Our campus is fortunate to have a highly trained and culturally fluent Public Safety Department that provides coverage on our campus during all open hours. The staff in this department have done an outstanding job becoming a known, positive presence on campus by regularly connecting with students, employees and visitors. Their proactive interactions and responsiveness have created a sense of safety on our urban campus. In addition, the officers’ commitment to using de-escalation techniques has been extremely effective when situations arise that require their direct involvement.
To continue advocating for the ideals of our Mission and Equity Statement, Public Safety Director Curt Schmidt will continue his role as an advisor on the Police Chief’s Citizen Advisory Council. Through this role, he will ensure the voices of our campus are heard as their agency considers needed changes.
Sharon J. Pierce, Ed.D.