April 27, 2021
Many governance committees participated in discussions with Dr. Cedric Alexander during his review of the University of Minnesota Police Department (UMPD) in the fall. Upon release of Dr. Alexander’s report in the spring, President Gabel created the M Safe Implementation Team, charged with advising the president on implementation of Dr. Alexander’s recommendations. While committees anticipate meeting with the M Safe team as its work progresses, the Equity, Access, and Diversity Committee (EAD) and the Disabilities Issues Committee have written letters to the team with their initial recommendations. The Disabilities Issues Committee’s letter highlighted the fact that a large percentage of police-on-citizen violence involves people with disabilities, and underlined the importance of de-escalation training for officers. EAD’s letter emphasized the need to address barriers to trust, such as historical trauma and systemic racism, and advocated for increased vetting of officers.