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Mayor Frey and Chief Arradondo Introduced New Sexual Assault Investigation Policy

Mayor and Chief have collaborated with advocates and survivors to tailor model policy to Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) needs and standards; New policy incorporates both POST Board and Attorney General taskforce recommendations; The policy will be built on three pillars: compassion, accountability, and responsiveness  

 

 

The policy incorporates a victim-centered approach to the MPD’s response to and investigations of sexual assault, prioritizes the safety, privacy and well-being of the victim and aims to create a supportive environment in which victims’ rights are respected

 

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and Police Chief Medaria Arradondo joined sexual assault advocates, survivors, and experts to roll out the Minneapolis Police Department’s (MPD) sexual assault investigation policy at the Minnesota Sexual Violence Center.  The policy will be built on three pillars: compassion, accountability, and responsiveness.

 

Earlier this year, Frey and Arradondo began working with survivor/victim advocates and community leaders from across Minneapolis and the Twin Cities on a best practices policy that takes into consideration both the Attorney General taskforce’s recommendations released last month along with the Board of Peace Officers Standards and Trainings (POST) model policy. The new policy is modeled on the POST Board’s model policy, released in February, and tailored to meet MPD needs and standards.

 

The new policy incorporates a victim-centered and trauma-informed approach to the MPD’s response and investigations of sexual assault. It prioritizes the safety, privacy and well-being of the victim and aims to create a supportive environment in which victims’ rights are respected. The policy incorporates the perspectives of detectives, the Hennepin County Attorney’s office and community advocacy groups.

 

In addition to protecting individuals reporting sexual assault from minor charges, such as underage drinking and prostitution and accepting sexual assault reports from other jurisdictions, the new policy spells out the importance of investigators maintaining regular contact with the victim regarding the process of the investigation so that the victim does not believe it is futile or demeaning to file a report.

 

The policy also employs trauma-informed interview techniques such as prioritizing conducting interviews in person, recognizing that victims of trauma may have difficulty remembering incidents in a linear fashion, and allowing the victim to share details at their own pace.

 

Also included in the new policy are special considerations for minors and vulnerable adults, protections around victim rights, and a victim-centered approach to evidence collection.

 

Frey and Arradondo have moved swiftly to implement changes to the department’s sexual assault policy in accordance with recommendations from the task force convened by the Attorney General’s Office last year.

 

Earlier this month, Frey and Arradondo took steps to formalize the AG task force recommendations to support survivors as MPD policy. Individuals who report a sexual assault to the MPD are protected from underage drinking and other minor charges. Additionally, the MPD accepts sexual assault reports from other jurisdictions and takes reports of incidents that occur outside of Minneapolis to send to the agency having jurisdiction.

 

Also in 2018:

  • MPD hired a full-time sexual assault survivor advocate who works alongside investigators and assists survivors through investigation and legal process.
  • The MPD’s sex crimes unit welcomed an embedded prosecutor from Hennepin County to assist with investigations of sexual assault in an effort to increase prosecutorial efficacy.
  • In January and March of 2019 – with the input from the new sexual assault survivor advocate – all officers are receiving trauma-informed and victim-centered sexual assault investigation training to respond to sexual assault crimes.

This Policy in numbered 7-349 and can be found at the following link:

http://www.minneapolismn.gov/police/policy/mpdpolicy_7-300_7-300

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