Comments: Police overwhelmed and undertrained

Read the 32 comments in response to the fourth part of the Denied Justice series.

Rjoymc OCT. 1, 18 6:19 PM

Is there no separate unit or separate training for sex crimes against children??

purlieu OCT. 1, 18 3:39 PM

Raise taxes and hire more investigators. If people don't want to pay more taxes, they can insist on prevention, if there is any. They can also hold men accountable for their behavior.

Landshark OCT. 1, 18 9:11 AM

It is almost election day and I still here the sound of crickets coming from the politicians promising to help victims of these crimes.

moosebone SEP. 30, 18 6:11 PM

Paul Schnell is a former chief of Hastings. While he has “taught” others, why were the Hastings officers not trained?
Hypocrisy ... !

badgerfan2 SEP. 30, 18 2:18 PM

It would also be nice if some effort could be directed toward teaching young adults how to form a healthy relationship with someone of the opposite sex, both in the home, and at school. The poor behavior of a rapist probably goes back to high school, or earlier. Instead, a lot of these young adults are being force fed centuries old views of how women are to be their servants, while also preaching abstinence. What a failure.
Early on during the Clinton admin, the surgeon general, Jocelyn Elders, suggested that perhaps masturbation should be taught, and that caused her to lose her job. Well she was right, it should be taught. Parents should teach their young boys how to properly treat a girl and get them into a social setting where good behavior and their personality can get noticed, instead of shoving an electronic device at them and letting them become socially isolated.
I don’t know what they’re doing today, but sex ed a generation ago was such garbage. Some people don’t believe schools should do it at all, but kids brought up in religious households would otherwise get NONE other than don’t ever do anything, to yourself or anyone else. Teach them a little of the psychology and not just a sketch of a uterus.
Whether it is incels, abusers, violent rapists, etc, you cannot prevent it all, but just as with gun violence, there’s literally no effort directed toward prevention and that is also wrong.

liberal4ever SEP. 30, 18 2:08 PM

We need to seriously re-examine how we hire Police Officers.
Intelligent, young and progressive minded people don't go into law enforcement, because law enforcement is and has always been seen as a place for muscle heads. It is not a dignified profession. It places more emphasis on physical capabilities instead of intelligence.
Local Law Enforcement agencies attract the wrong types of people. This is why the BCA, FBI, and other investigative agencies have higher standards than local police/Sheriff departments.

LoveWild0221 OCT. 1, 18 11:26 AM

@liberal4ever While I'm no longer young, I would hate to think that I have wasted the last 22 years of my life in a career that was not dignified. I have never once considered myself unintelligent, in fact, I went to college for chemical engineering but chose Law Enforcement because I believed in the profession and sought something more fulfilling.
You should clearly check the hiring standards of such said agencies like the BCA, because they hire from this unintelligent pool of muscle heads called the local police.
It's a shame that you make such a broad sweeping generalization about a group of people whom you clearly have no interest in understanding. That group of people are the ones that put their lives on the line everyday to protect the lives of all people, including those that despise or even hate them.
I am proud to be a police officer for a local agency. I am proud to work with the professional and INTELLIGENT men and women in my department who are focused on making our city safer and protecting those who cannot. All while using our brains and not our physical capabilities.

chuckdancer SEP. 30, 18 12:44 PM

Regionalize the responsibility instead of having each department trying to field experts that aren't. Like doctors specialize in a field that covers a portion of the whole police could offer a specialty in this area since it is a large responsibility that requires skills that get better with experience. i can see how this could benefit victims; I don't know how it would benefit each department.

raleighmama SEP. 30, 18 12:14 PM

And the untrained and inexperienced investigators use "boilerplate" language on search warrants, copied from reading previously served warrants, to search the homes and gather evidence.
The language of the warrant almost always states, "...based on my training and experience I know that..."
The reality is that the investigator may have absolutely no training or experience investigating a sex crime and is just reproducing materials found in previous cases, or doing what a partner told him/her to write.
Judges rely on the honesty of a police officer when s/he applies for a search warrant and swears an oath of truthfulness when in fact, they are falsely stating that they have specialized training and experience. They make generalized statements on warrant applications that may have no truthful basis in fact.

gene428 SEP. 30, 18 11:57 AM

Perhaps instead of giving the wealthy more tax cuts, we should be funding our police and fire depts and education...but tax cuts for the wealthy seem to be repub priorities instead of us.

FrankL SEP. 30, 18 11:03 AM

So do female detectives also run away from this unit? One would think they would be more driven because to solve these crimes because it hits too close to home. Perhaps the problem is that most of these cases are weak from the start. What we need is a public education campaign to immediately report it. Any rape that is reported within 24 hrs will have the highest priority, anything beyond a week is mainly used for data to find if there are serial pradators out there.

crevans83 SEP. 30, 18 11:08 AM

@FrankL Did the Catholic Church pay you to write this or what?

lmjacob OCT. 1, 18 9:31 AM

@crevans83 @FrankL Protocol for collecting physical evidence from sex crimes is usually 72-96 hours. Beyond that it is very difficult to obtain any bodily fluids for forensic analysis.

Independent Thinker SEP. 30, 18 11:25 AM

@FrankL Well, I was first raped when I was 10. Reporting it was impossible. It was my father. So, gotta go back to the drawing board on that one.

badgerfan2 SEP. 30, 18 10:56 AM

In so many ways, law enforcement is just flat out incompetent. It is such an important part of society, yet so little is invested in it, the training is broken, and the salaries are such that you’ll never get the most qualified and committed people to actually do it.
There is no drive to get any better, they are set in their ways that are already a proven failure.
The words of Mr Schnell are disturbing, that students come in with a preconceived notion that most of these reports are false. These are the future officers, the likes that shoot first and ask questions later. No empathy for the people they are supposed to protect and serve.

mikelibke SEP. 30, 18 1:16 PM

@badgerfan2 I think you oversimplify the job of a police officer, the frequency of calls to which they respond and the breadth of those calls. I think you would be able to justify your claim by providing a stat showing police shoot first and ask questions later. For example, provide the amount of calls responded and the amount of officer involved shootings. You'll be hard pressed to make that correlation in a rational capacity.
Given the number of cases detectives have, the nature of these types of cases and the emotional trauma involved i disagree police have no empathy for the people they are serving. The article states that each detective is juggling 52 active cases. 52 cases. Do you really believe they have no empathy or what's more likely is they're just completely overworked and over stressed? Your preconceived notion about police is just as damaging as the trainees'.

badgerfan2 SEP. 30, 18 8:01 PM

I think you need to watch the videos of these victims and get back to me on that empathy thing. Almost all of them have recollection of being partially blamed for their predicament either by one of the officers or the investigator they meet with.
Police/detectives have a hard job, but I think they do tend to forget who they are supposed to be serving. Don’t make promises to contact people and not follow through. It’s easy to see why those victims feel the way they do.

crevans83 SEP. 30, 18 10:49 AM

The Strib is just as culpable as the MPD for carrying Mike Sauro's water. The man should never have been allowed to be a cop. Where a thorough examination of his record was needed, the Strib instead legitimizes Sauro.

raleighmama SEP. 30, 18 12:20 PM

@crevans83 They should interview Mike Quin, a former MPD cop who is willing to speak to the corruption within the MPD.

opie12 SEP. 30, 18 10:34 AM

Some crimes are simply more difficult to investigate than others. Especially when they're not reported for many years. It's not because of bias against women. Colleges have implemented automatic-guilt for accused students. And in politics, with the MeToo movement, we see automatic-guilt being applied.

gene428 SEP. 30, 18 11:59 AM

@opie12 You may be correct, but the real truth is the lack of funding that could resolve this and other issues...but repubs prefer tax cuts for the wealthy rather than doing something to help us.

opie12 SEP. 30, 18 4:26 PM

@gene428 @opie12 Well you Democrats are consistent, I'll give you that. Always for higher taxes, no matter what the issue.

jenn25 SEP. 30, 18 10:04 AM

The current system, is a criminal justice and police system designed by men, for men. The problem is systemic. Change needs to come from the top. Nationally that is not going to happen anytime soon. But the state and county officials need to get on the ball. I have a message for Jeff Johnson and Republicans. If you think there is waste in some government programs, instead of cutting taxes, how about funding the underfunded and neglected police units responsible for investigating sex crimes. Same for Democrats.

FrankL SEP. 30, 18 11:03 AM

@jenn25 Lots of women cops and prosecutors, yet they don't seem to be any more eager to tackle the problem.

MinnAlaskan OCT. 1, 18 7:47 AM

@FrankL They haven't been part of the system until recently, and bucking the institutional good old boys club isn't easy.

hardrockmnr SEP. 30, 18 9:53 AM

The investigators need to watch ‘Law and Order, Special Victims Unit’ reruns. Women need to question the female victims �� % of the time. The victim must also get to an ER immediately. Without DNA evidence, rape is tough to prove, as there are usually only 2 people involved.

gopher971 SEP. 30, 18 9:45 AM

Could it be sex crimes do not generate any revenue for law enforcement agencies?

badgerfan2 SEP. 30, 18 11:00 AM

I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. They’re more invested in Parking tickets and moving violations that bring in revenue.

Wally66 SEP. 30, 18 9:32 AM

Good article. If people aren't trained they will be uncomfortable. When they are uncomfortable they can't do a good job.

msschramm SEP. 30, 18 8:58 AM

This article is a joke. The cops and prosecutors do not care if a female was sexually assaulted or raped. They believe the assailant and do not care to hear from the victim. It is always a case of "he said, she said" and they always believe him. When does it stop. Training is only the beginning. The people who are in charge need to actually care and put these crimes higher on the priority list. I guess things won't change unless it is their wife, daughter, sister, aunt or grandma that gets assaulted.

Independent Thinker SEP. 30, 18 11:23 AM

@msschramm I don't believe this article is a joke. Perhaps you meant it is the subject that is almost laughable were it not so horrifying. The journalists who wrote this story are doing a great job of bringing this to the attention of our state. For instance, I did not know that police officers in training believe that 60-90% of rape charges are false allegations. That is a damning statistic and a good place to start fixing this broken system by educating these misinformed people. No wonder women hesitate to come forward. Shameful.

mgresist SEP. 30, 18 5:29 PM

@Independent Thinker @msschramm This is part of a series of articles by journalists who have done an outstanding job of bringing a generally hidden topic to light. Their work has brought about immediate changes, with the governor pressing the POST Board to take up the issues of a lack of model policy for investigations of sexual assault and lack of required training. I hope they will also develop a training track to certify investigators in sexual assault investigations. If these changes are made in good faith, these investigations will be more formal and professional with better outcomes. I'm saying this as a member of the public who attends POST Board meetings and frequently raises the issue of a sloppy course approval process and other poor quality training. MN is light years behind in these areas compared to other states but this series of articles is helping jolt people into action.