Chief Tim Dolan issued a statement today responding to criticism of his Internal Affairs Department, the part of the Minneapolis Police Department which reviews complaints against officers.
The department has come under scrutiny in recent weeks over the Darryl Jenkins case, the fallout from the Fong Lee case, and misconduct of the multi-agency Gang Strike Force. Seven Minneapolis officers have been accused of misconduct in the FBI's probe, and Internal Affairs has opened investigations into their conduct.
Here's what Dolan had to say:
There is some misinformation circulating regarding the Department's disciplinary process and the credibility of our Internal Affairs. I would like to address those allegations.
No one in the Minneapolis Police Department enjoys disciplining their fellow employees, but we know that in order for us to bring pride to the Minneapolis Police patch, we can not tolerate misbehavior that taints us all. Doing so discredits and diminishes the good work we do every single day.
Yes, we have raised the bar in expectations for conduct. My record shows that we have about tripled the termination and resignation rates of previous administrations. I would prefer that to be zero, but we are not going to tolerate those who will tarnish our reputations.
I believe we have been fair. The Minneapolis Police Federation has won only one challenge in my last three years on those who have been terminated or resigned. I recognize that it is the Federation's job to challenge our decisions on whatever grounds they can. However, I do not think it is appropriate for them to continually berate and attack Internal Affairs or their investigators.
I stand by my Internal Affairs staff. They have maybe the most difficult job in law enforcement. They are hard working, honorable, and of high integrity. They are seldom recognized for their work, and they do it because they know it is the right thing to do.
To conclude, I ask you to not rush to judgment based on what you hear or what is alleged. Please know that, due to the Government Data Practices Act, I we can say little in defense of specific allegations. I ask that you and try and hold off your opinions on issues until you see the final results.