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Hodges calls for improved system for catching bad cops

Posted by: Eric Roper Updated: August 6, 2013 - 2:59 PM

Following a number of recent reports concerning police misconduct, council member Betsy Hodges said Tuesday that the city needs to improve its system for monitoring officer behavior.

That’s among several comments Hodges, who is running for mayor, made at a press conference at City Hall. It was the first press conference Hodges’s campaign has held in recent months, despite increased activity from her competitors.

“We need to enhance our early intervention system that we have right now,” Hodges said. “Because we have an early warning system, but ... we also need to intervene when we see that problems might come. I think we need to enhance that in general.”

Just how she would do that remains unclear. She said the system "needs to be stronger" and "more widely throughout the community.”

She also emphasized the continuation of a number of existing efforts. She said the city should “continue” to hire officers that better reflect the city’s population, for example.

As for the replacement of the Civilian Review Authority, which investigated complaints against police, with a Police Conduct Review Panel comprised partly of police officers, Hodges said it was the result of a change in state law. She did not support the change, but is “waiting to see the results” of the new panel.

Responding to questions about the Southwest Corridor light rail line, Hodges said the city should question the timeline of the process and explore unanswered questions. The Met Council has said it plans to have a vote on the routing of the line by Aug. 28.

Controversy remains over whether to co-locate freight and light rail along the Kenilworth trail in Minneapolis, with or without a tunnel, or send the freight through St. Louis Park.

“Co-location [above ground] is not an option for me,” Hodges said. “It’s not an option for the city.”

Hodges said she would rather have no light rail line than agree to that option, because of the possible impact on the city’s resources and destruction of the Kenilworth trail.

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