Race and equity are critical topics for our city, state and country. The killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis is one more tragedy in the long history of racism in our country. As a City Council member I have worked to support and encourage systemic change with the goal of ensuring Roseville is a safe and thriving community for all. Our police chief and police department have been leaders and partners in making change.
On this page I highlight some of the steps taken in recent years by the City of Roseville around policing and making government operations more equitable. I have supported these initiatives with my votes and funded them in our city budgets. While these policies and actions have helped us make great progress, our work is not done. We must do more, and I am ready to work with our community to continue this journey.
Multicultural Advisory Committee: This is a new police department initiative (June 2020) to create an ongoing group of advisors who represent different minority groups in our community. There are many possible roles for this group, but we first want to hear what is important to the people who are on the committee. If you might be interested in being a part of this committee, please see the link below for more information and to apply.
Imagine Roseville: After the 2016 shooting of Philando Castile in Falcon Heights by a St. Anthony police officer, I worked with the Mayor, City Manager, Police Chief, Roseville Area Schools and a diverse committee of area residents to create community discussions and workshops on race and policing. Together we sponsored three large community events, helping us as a City to learn and grow and start on a deep review of our policies and actions. A number of the other items on this page came out of the Imagine Roseville efforts including police CIT training, changes to use of force, and the GARE process.
Police Diversity Initiative: In 2015 we started focusing the hiring of our Community Service Officers (CSO) on candidates of color and candidates with skills in the most-used languages in Roseville. The goal is to hire these officers-in-training into our full time police force once they have finished school so that we can better match our officer demographics with the diversity of our community. These efforts are making a difference; the police department is now our most diverse department in the city.
Use of Force: In 2018 the police department underwent a full review of their use of force policies. Many important updates took place that reduced the use of force in policy and training and, instead, built skills around de-escalation. I fully supported these changes. The police department regularly trains around de-escalation and appropriate use of force and has rigorous standards for their officers in these areas. Recently a list of potential police department policies called “8 Can’t Wait” were outlined by advocates of police change. As of 2018, Roseville meets all eight. The police department has extensive information about this and all policies and data sharing on their website: http://www.cityofroseville.com/3314/Transparency-Data-Sharing
Crisis Intervention Team: CIT training (or the Memphis Model) is a nationally recognized 40-hour police training in de-escalation and working together with members of the community, rather than in conflict. This program was developed to address mental health crises but is directly relevant to preventing incidents like the one that led to the killing of George Floyd. As of the end of 2017, every Roseville police officer is required to complete the training and receives regular ongoing training to increase de-escalation knowledge and skills. https://www.citinternational.org/
Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE): In January of 2017 I attended a League of MN Cities training on Race and Equity. At this training I learned about a national program called GARE that is focused on making systemic changes to how cities operate. I brought this program idea back to our City Manager and Council and we approved moving forward with the 2018 cohort. In 2019 City staff started implementing learning from the program. This is ongoing work for us as a City, City Council and broader community. https://www.racialequityalliance.org/
Here are two examples of how we are already changing:
Rice-Larpenteur Alliance: Since 2015 I have served as a member of the Rice-Larpenteur Alliance working to improve jobs, safety, food and services in the Rice and Larpenteur area in a unique partnership with St. Paul, Maplewood, Ramsey County, local businesses and area residents. The area has a significant population of immigrants and people of color and has seen neglect on all four corners over decades. The Alliance has already resulted in improved streets, new sidewalks, preservation of bus service, a new park, and cross-city police collaboration. The work continues now with a larger role for area residents and businesses as we celebrate the diverse cultures, encourage reinvestment by land owners and promote locally owned stores and restaurants providing economic opportunity to diverse owners. https://www.riceandlarpenteur.com/
Human Trafficking and Sexual Assault investigator: In 2019 I worked with Ramsey County Attorney John Choi to bring forward a proposal to City staff and the City Council to fund a full time officer working on human trafficking and sexual assault cases. The Council approved the plan and in 2020 we now have a dedicated officer working these terrible cases and better supporting victims.
Mental Health Support: There are three elements to mental health support as they relate to public safety. The first is training all of our officers on how to de-escalate a crisis and to support people through times of acute strain. Our requirement for CIT training is a major investment in this area. Next we must support those we serve after the initial crisis. Roseville is now in a partnership with North East Youth and Family Services and several neighboring cities to have a Community Navigator who helps residents who have had a crisis. This person helps the family connect with needed professional supports to reduce the chance of a crisis in the future. Finally, we must care for the mental health of our officers. Police officers have a very stressful job. We have required counselor check-ins for officers right after being involved in an incident such as a disturbing domestic assault or major car accident with injuries. Officers are then re-connected to support several months later. This support helps keep them whole and healthy and better able to help those they work with in the community.
Affordable Housing: Safe, high quality housing is critical for the health and safety of our residents and success in school for our kids. If we intend to look at the big picture of how we move our community forward for the betterment of the lives of all residents, housing is critical. This is an area where I have been a leader on the Council. I am the only Council member in the last eight years to support every affordable housing project. I support these projects because all people deserve the dignity of a good home.
**To learn more about many of these subjects go to this city website: