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Nearly 150 Minnesota Police Officers Are Convicted Criminals

The state of Minnesota has allowed hundreds of police officers to keep their law enforcement licenses even after being convicted of a crime, according to a Sunday report from the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

The Tribune investigated criminal convictions against Minnesota police officers since 1995 and found that of the 534 convicted officers, three-quarters were never disciplined by the state, four-fifths kept their licenses, and more than 140 are still cops. The Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST), which handles law enforcement license removal, blames the inaction on disciplinary boards lacking jurisdiction over certain criminal convictions.

Virtually all of the officers that kept their jobs were convicted of crimes that fall outside of the POST board’s jurisdiction, according to Board Director Nathan Gove. As a result, discipline falls to local sheriffs and police departments, which have proven overwhelmingly sympathetic toward their officers.

“This is a ’70s model,” Tim Bildsoe, the POST board’s civilian chairman, told the Tribune. “We need to find ways to capture more individuals that are falling through. Now is the time for the Legislature to take this up.”

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