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Monday, February 1, 2016

PATROL DWI Special Bulletin

From time to time, we provide the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust’s PATROL online peace officer training membership with a “Special Bulletin” involving recent case-law decisions immediately impacting law enforcement. Recently, the issues of DWI testing laws and test refusal charges have surfaced. We encourage you to review the following Special Bulletin on this issue (you can also find it in the online PATROL Library):

http://www.lmc.org/media/document/1/specialupdatedwitesting.pdf

This Bulletin includes more information about the U.S. Supreme Court’s review of a breath test refusal case from Minnesota, and the Minnesota Supreme Court’s consideration of a blood test refusal decision from the Minnesota Court of Appeals. These reviews are pending, which means we're in an environment of legal uncertainty, but we've provided some general practice tips for dealing with the many unknowns.

As always, we urge you to talk with your prosecutors about what you should be doing in your own jurisdiction.

Up next: Mental Health First Aid

In the meantime, stay safe and be careful.

Rob

Friday, January 22, 2016

Drones—What’s Up

The technology and regulation related to drones, or Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), continues to be a moving target. League of Minnesota Cities (LMC) research attorney Quinn O’Reilly continues to follow the changes and recently published this article:

Quinn’s Update—Public vs. Private Use of Drones
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently announced a new online registration system for recreational Unmanned Aircraft Systems, often called “drones.” Information on the program can be found here: http://www.faa.gov/uas/registration/. Though city residents using drones for hobby uses will likely need to register using this website, drones used by cities for public purposes may not be registered using the new site.

Any city interested in utilizing a drone for any public use must follow the procedures the FAA has established, which can be reviewed here: http://www.faa.gov/uas/public_operations/. While there is a registration process for government-owned drones, the registration can only be done in paper form and not using the new online system.
Quinn O'Reilly

Drones are a new and exciting area of the law, but regulations are quickly changing. The FAA has been tasked with working to incorporate drones safely into U.S. airspace. The new registration requirement for hobbyist users is one of the methods the FAA is utilizing to ensure safety in the skies, as well as the safety of individuals on the ground. The registration will assist the FAA in its task to ensure those piloting drones are following the rule of law and are flying safely.

If you have any questions regarding drones or the FAA’s regulations, please contact Quinn O’Reilly at qoreilly@lmc.org, or the FAA office in Minneapolis at (612) 253-4400.

Drone Guidance for Law Enforcement
On January 8, the FAA released UAS Guidance for Law Enforcement. The document reads: “State and local police are often in the best position to immediately investigate unauthorized UAS operations and, as appropriate, to stop them. The document explains how first responders and others can provide invaluable assistance to the FAA by:
  • Identifying potential witnesses and conducting initial interviews
  • Contacting the suspected operators of the UAS or model aircraft
  • Viewing and recording the location of the event
  • Collecting evidence
  • Identifying if the UAS operation was in a sensitive location, event, or activity
  • Notifying one of the FAA’s Regional Operation Centers about the operation as soon as possible”
The contact information for the FAA Regional Center for Minnesota is (817) 222-5006 and 9-csa-roc@faa.gov

More information, the full guidance document, information about sporting events, and frequently asked questions can be found here: http://www.faa.gov/uas/law_enforcement/

Up next: Mental Health First Aid

In the meantime, stay safe and be careful.

Rob

Friday, January 8, 2016

Stretch ‘N Bend Program for Police: 2015 IACP CONFERENCE

LMCIT Public Safety Specialist Tracy Stille,
pictured at the 2015 IACP Conference.
Guest blog by LMCIT Public Safety Specialist Tracy Stille

I was invited to attend the 2015 IACP Conference in Chicago, Illinois this past October and walked away with many ideas after having countless conversations for improving the health and wellness of sworn police officers, as well as non-sworn police staff.

I presented in the IACP Wellness Zone on the Stretch ‘N Bend Program for Police. This is a program that is being promoted by the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust (LMCIT) and was created to reduce worker injuries. It is modeled after the Stretch ‘N Bend program of Mortenson Construction.

With the help of a roll-call PowerPoint presentation showing how to complete the exercises, the Stretch ‘N Bend is an onsite stretching program that encourages all employees to participate. With a goal to reduce—if not eliminate—worker injuries, the exercise program has been requested by many police and fire departments, and the feedback has been positive.

It is recommended that the Stretch ‘N Bend program be conducted during the shift briefings that most police and fire departments hold. These stretching programs typically do not last longer than 10 minutes and are led by a designated volunteer or shift supervisor. 

Some of the benefits of taking the time to stretch your muscles are that stretching prepares your body for work activities, increases your flexibility, promotes better blood circulation, improves your range of motion, enhances muscle coordination and body awareness, delays muscle fatigue, reduces the incidence and severity of injury, and increases team morale.

Free Stretch ‘N Bend Program PowerPoint

Would you be interested in learning more about this Stretch ‘N Bend program for everyday use within your police or fire department? Please email me, and I will send you a free PowerPoint template that outlines the exercise program and can be personalized for your agency’s use.

You can send your requests, questions, or comments to tstille@lmc.org or (651) 215-4051.

                                     Remember: Responder Safety = Public Safety



Up Next: Drones, What’s Up?

In the meantime, stay safe and be careful.



Tracy