Since 1887 the Park Police Department has been the primary law enforcement agency tasked with policing Minneapolis parks. The seven-member Advisory Council will meet monthly with MPRB personnel to discuss topics that are important to the MPRB and park patrons and to open two-way communication. The primary role of the Advisory Council is to become knowledgeable about policing, crime, and safety in Minneapolis parks; evaluate broad approaches to community safety, enforcement, and reconciliation; contribute to broad community engagement by acting as community, neighborhood, and stakeholder advocates; assist with ongoing communication to the public; provide reports to the Board of Commissioners; and make consensus recommendations regarding certain matters of policy and programs for review by the Park Police Chief and MPRB Superintendent.

Advisory Council members must:

Past Meetings

Park Police Advisory Council Meeting #5

November 12, 2019

Park Police Advisory Council Meeting #4

October 8, 2019

Park Police Advisory Council Meeting #3

September 10, 2019

Park Police Advisory Council Meeting #2

August 12, 2019

Park Police Advisory Council Meeting #1

June 17, 2019

Upcoming Meetings

2019-2020 Meeting Schedule [PDF]

Park Police Advisory Council Meeting #9

Tue, Mar 10, 2020 6:00pm @ Mary Merrill Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board Headquarters

Park Police Advisory Council Meeting #10

Tue, Apr 14, 2020 6:00pm @ Mary Merrill Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board Headquarters

Park Police Advisory Council Meeting #11

Tue, May 12, 2020 6:00pm @ Mary Merrill Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board Headquarters

Park Police Advisory Council Meeting #12

Tue, Jun 9, 2020 6:00pm @ Mary Merrill Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board Headquarters

Park Police Advisory Council Meeting #13

Tue, Jul 14, 2020 6:00pm @ Mary Merrill Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board Headquarters

Park Police Advisory Council Meeting #14

Tue, Aug 11, 2020 6:00pm @ Mary Merrill Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board Headquarters

Commissioner-Confirmed Members

  • Mahdi Abdi
  • KC Harrison
  • Alora Jones
  • Carol Martinson
  • Sheila Nezhad
  • Roxanne O’Brien
  • Jae Hyum Shim

Resolution Authorizing the Formation and Charge of a Park Police Advisory Council

Whereas, The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) is the steward of the Minneapolis park system;

Whereas, The MPRB is granted policing authority under the Minneapolis City Charter;

Whereas, Since 1887 the Park Police Department has been the primary law enforcement agency tasked with policing Minneapolis parks;

Whereas, MPRB recognizes the important role of Park Police in keeping our parks safe for all community members; their community-oriented approach to public safety; and their commitment to innovation in public safety;

Whereas, The MPRB desires broad representation and participation in the planning and development of policing and public safety initiatives;

Whereas, MPRB staff recommends establishing a Park Police Advisory Council comprised of interested stakeholders representing diverse backgrounds; and

Whereas, This resolution is supported by the MPRB 2007-2020 Comprehensive Plan, which envisions “Dynamic parks that shape city character and meet diverse community needs,” and “A safe place to play, recreate, contemplate, and celebrate;”

RESOLVED, That the Park Police Advisory Council is hearby established and that it shall operate according to the following structure:

  1. Number of members: 6 voting members.
  2. Term length: 24 months.
  3. Term limit: No member may serve more than 3 consecutive terms.
  4. Staggered Terms: Not applicable.
  5. Compensation: None.
  6. Open appointment process: Yes.
  7. Public hearing held for appointees: No.
  8. Residency requirement: Minneapolis Resident
  9. Membership structure: Community members can submit an application, to be reviewed by a cross-functional group of staff for recommendation to the Board of Commissioners for nomination. A slate of 6 members will be nominated by the President of the Board and then subject to approval by the majority of the Board of Commissioners.
  10. Supporting department:
    1. Primary. Superintendent or her/his/their designee
    2. Secondary. Community Outreach; the Park Police Department
  11. Reporting requirements:  At least Annual Report to Board of Commissioners
  12. Selection of officers: To be chosen by the Park Police Advisory Council.
  13. Open meetings: Meetings shall be open to the public, subject to the requirements of the Minnesota Open Meeting Law.

RESOLVED, That the Park Police Advisory Council is established to:

  • Become knowledgeable about policing, crime, and safety in Minneapolis parks.
  • Evaluate broad approaches to community safety, enforcement, and reconciliation
  • Contribute to broad community engagement by acting as community, neighborhood, and stakeholder advocates.
  • Assist with ongoing communication to the public.
  • Provide reports to the Board of Commissioners on at least an annual basis
  • Make consensus recommendations regarding certain matters of policy, practices, and programs for review by the Park Police Chief and the Superintendent.

RESOLVED, That the President of the Board and Secretary to the Board are authorized to take all necessary administrative actions to implement this resolution.

TO:                  Administration & Finance Committee

FROM:             Jason Ohotto, Director of Park Safety and Security

DATE:              September 5, 2018

SUBJECT:             Resolution Authorizing the Formation and Charge of a Park Police Advisory Council


BACKGROUND

This action considers the creation of a Park Police Advisory Council. Since 1887, the Park Police Department has been the primary law enforcement agency charged with policing Minneapolis parks. Today, the Park Police Department is comprised of approximately 35 licensed peace officers and 20 Park Patrol Agents. Park Police staff respond to an estimated 10,000 calls for service each year. Minneapolis parks, due in part to having independent policing authority, are extremely safe. On average, only about 2% of serious violent crimes occur in parks despite parks comprising 15% of the land in the City of Minneapolis.

Upon adoption of the 2018 Annual Budget, the Board of Commissioners approved the following Park Police Department budget goal:

In collaboration with the Community Outreach Department, the Park Police Department will convene an advisory board comprised of interested stakeholders representing diverse backgrounds. This advisory board would make recommendations to the Park Police Chief on policies, programs, and certain personnel matters (potentially to include hiring/promotional process).

In January 2018, a cross-functional workgroup comprised of staff from the Park Police Department, Community Outreach Department, Strategic Planning Department, and Recreation Centers and Programs Department began meeting to consider how to best form the proposed advisory board. Staff spent considerable time and effort in researching other similar models and best practices.

Upon adoption by the Board of Commissioners, the Community Outreach Department will lead an application process to identify members of the public for Board appointment to the Park Police Advisory Council.

RECOMMENDATION

Staff recommends authorizing the formation and charge of a Park Police Advisory Council with the following charge and composition.

Park Police Advisory Council Charge:

The Park Police Advisory Council shall:

  • Become knowledgeable about policing, crime, and safety in Minneapolis parks.
  • Evaluate broad approaches to community safety, enforcement, and reconciliation
  • Contribute to broad community engagement by acting as community, neighborhood, and stakeholder advocates.
  • Assist with ongoing communication to the public.
  • Provide reports to the Board of Commissioners on at least an annual basis
  • Make consensus recommendations regarding certain matters of policy, practices, and programs for review by the Park Police Chief and the Superintendent.

Park Police Advisory Council Composition:

Appointing entity or person Number of Appointees
Board of Commissioners 6
6

Community members can submit an application, to be reviewed by a cross-functional group of staff for recommendation to the Board of Commissioners for nomination. A slate of 6 members will be nominated by the President of the Board and then subject to approval by the majority of the Board of Commissioners.

This action is supported by the following vision and goal statements in the MPRB 2007-2020 Comprehensive Plan.

Vision Theme 3: Dynamic parks that shape city character and meet diverse community needs.
Vision Theme 4: A safe place to play, recreate, contemplate, and celebrate.
Goal: Communities, public and private partners, and staff cooperate to promote safety.

 

HISTORY:
07/11/18 Administration & Finance Committee TABLED

 

Prepared By: Jason Ohotto, Director of Park Safety and Security, Park Police
Review:
Jason R. Ohotto           Completed      06/11/2018 9:56 AM
Mary Merrill   Completed      06/11/2018 12:10 PM
Administration & Finance Committee            Completed      07/11/2018 5:10 PM
Administration & Finance Committee            Completed      09/05/2018 5:40 PM
Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board        Pending           09/12/2018 7:00 PM