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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Body Camera Policy and Free Webinar

Law changes that became effective August 1st place several new requirements on police agencies implementing and administering a body-worn camera (BWC) policy. As a result, LMCIT has revised its guidance and model policy on BWCs. As with previous iterations, this policy was developed in conjunction with several Minnesota policing agencies and the Minnesota Counties Intergovernmental Trust, Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association, Minnesota Association of City Attorneys, Minnesota County Attorneys Association. A FAQ has also been created to help you understand the new law.

The League will be hosting a live webinar Tuesday, August 30 from 1-2 p.m. to go over how to handle data and public input under this new law. Whether your department has a current BWC policy or is considering implementing one, this webinar will cover key information, including:

  • Actions you need to take when adopting a BWC program, or administering a current one
  • The potential pitfalls in data retention and release
  • How your police department can address community concerns about data privacy and accountability
  • What kind of public input you need before purchasing or implementing a program

Find out more about and register for this webinar by 12 p.m. on August 30.

Up next: It's Called SMACS (Social Media-Assisted Career Suicide)

Stay safe,

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Fentanyl—Even More Dangerous Than You Think

For immediate review at your next roll call, shift briefing or training.

The words jump out at you. “Fentanyl can kill you. Fentanyl is being sold as heroin in virtually every corner of the country.” The words are from a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) warning issued June 10, 2016.

Here are more phrases from the warning:

“During the last two years, the distribution of clandestinely manufactured fentanyl has been linked to an unprecedented outbreak of overdoes and deaths.” 

“Fentanyl is not only dangerous to the drug’s users but for law enforcement, public health workers, and first responders who could unknowingly come into contact with it in its different forms.” 

“Fentanyl can be absorbed through the skin…and is up to 50 times more potent than heroin.”

The DEA has prepared a video that I urge you to view at your next roll call, shift briefing, department training, and safety committee. The video is titled the “DEA Fentanyl Roll Call Video,” and it is critical that all law enforcement, EMS, and fire first responders view this important information:

You may also find additional information on the DEA website at

Up next: It’s Called SMACS (Social Media Assisted Career Suicide)

Stay safe,

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Mental Health First Aid Workshops Available for Police and EMS First Responders

Registration is open for our upcoming Mental Health First Aid Workshops!

Mental Health First Aid* is a public education program that introduces you to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems, builds understanding of their impact, and reviews appropriate supports.

During this hands-on training, you’ll use role playing and simulations to discover how to offer initial help in a mental health crisis and connect people to the appropriate professional, peer, social, and self-help care. You will also explore common risk factors and warning signs of specific illnesses like anxiety, depression, substance use, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, and schizophrenia.

Like CPR, this workshop will prepare you to interact with a person in crisis and will give you answers to questions such as, “What do I do?” and “Where can someone find help?” You will learn a five-step action plan (spelled out below via an acronym known as ALGEE) to support someone developing signs and symptoms of a mental illness or experiencing an emotional crisis:

  • Assess for risk of suicide or harm 
  • Listen nonjudgmentally 
  • Give reassurance and information 
  • Encourage appropriate professional help 
  • Encourage self-help and other support strategies

Workshops will be held:

Sept. 21—Burnsville
Sept. 28—Eden Prairie
Oct. 4—New Brighton
Oct. 11—Milaca
Oct. 17—Hibbing

Read more about and register for this workshop!

Up next: Fentanyl—Even More Dangerous Than You Think

Stay safe,

*This workshop is being done in partnership with Fairview Health Services and the Fairview Foundation, and will be presented by Fairview's certified Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) instructors. Improving the health of the communities they serve is the cornerstone of Fairview Health Services non-profit mission. To better understand the needs of those communities, in 2015 Fairview conducted Community Health Needs Assessments for all six Fairview hospitals. Results of these assessments showed that concerns about mental health and well-being topped the list of prioritized community health needs at all six hospitals. Their commitment to the Mental Health First Aid program is one way they are responding to our local communities in response to these concerns.