By Reg Chapman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The Minneapolis Police Federation is in contract negotiations with the city. The union’s three-year contract expires in December.

A community coalition wants their recommendations for reform to be considered during the talks. ‘Minneapolis for a Better Police Contract’ has a number of changes it believes will have an immediate and positive impact.

“We’ve taken the time to scrub the contract, we’ve gone through it with a fine-tooth comb, we’ve put together these recommendations,” Michelle Gross, Citizens United Against Police Brutality said.

Members of several community-based groups came together to release a list of 14 recommendations for changes to the Minneapolis Police Federation Contract.

The group’s three prioritized recommendations are to eliminate officer fatigue, provide mandatory mental health screenings every three years and more flexible staffing.

“We all show up better equipped to treat others with dignity, patience, respect and honor when we are not fatigued, supported in our mental health needs and our roles align with our strengths,” explained Pete Gamades, Racial Justice Network.

The group, Minneapolis for a Better Police Contract, believes this is the first time the community has been involved in putting forth an agenda they want to see at the negotiation table.

The city and federation are currently meeting behind closed doors. The group wants the city council to use its recommendations as a focal point during negotiations.

“These contract negotiations need to be more than tweaking a few employment terms and changing the dates on the top of the page,” said Cheryl Persegal, Racial Justice Network.

The group says its recommendations are cost neutral and also include testing for anabolic steroids and making clearer conduct expectations.

“What we are asking is for you all to use your power now to go through the contract, to take it seriously and to listen to the recommendations made by this coalition,” explained Nekima Levy Armstrong.

WCCO did reach out to the Minneapolis Police Federation. They told us they cannot comment while negotiations are ongoing.

Reg Chapman