Justice Department Announces National Response Center and Offer to Bring Assistance to Minneapolis Police Department to Support Law Enforcement and Safe Communities Through Fair Policing

The Justice Department, in an announcement by Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Eric S. Dreiband, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) Katharine T. Sullivan, and U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota Erica H. MacDonald, unveiled a new National Response Center Initiative and offered the assistance to the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) to support law enforcement, and review, enhance and reform policies and practices to prevent the use of excessive force. The Bureau of Justice Assistance’s (BJA) Law Enforcement Training and Technical Assistance Response Center will be a national resource for all state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies.

“I have heard, loud and clear, from Minneapolis faith, community, and business leaders the call for safety and protection in our community,” said U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota Erica H. MacDonald. “Today we announce a new initiative between the Department of Justice and MPD, offering federal resources to assist MPD in their reform efforts to better serve the City of Minneapolis.”

“As Chief of Police I’m grateful for the opportunity to partner with our U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald to launch the Department of Justice Reponse Center Program to improve law enforcement and community protection here in Minneapolis,” said Chief Medaria Arradondo, MPD. “In creating a new MPD, I want to utilize all available tools and resources to support the hardworking and professional men and women of the MPD. We have an obligation and duty to be guardians of our communities and enhance our level of service and this program seeks to do just that. I want to thank our U.S. Attorney for her leadership and assistance in this endeavor.”

“Our goal with this new policing initiative and offer of assistance to MPD to keep everyone safe and secure through Constitutional and otherwise lawful police practices,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric S. Dreiband for the Civil Rights Division. “We are excited about the opportunity to partner with Chief Medaria Arradondo and MPD to protect the people of Minneapolis and support law enforcement. We seek to ensure public safety and eliminate excessive force by the police. We also seek to enforce the rule of law to protect the people of Minneapolis and because doing so is necessary to all civilized societies.”

“The Department of Justice maintains a long-standing commitment to public safety, and inherent in that commitment is the desire for highly skilled, highly trained professionals capable of protecting their communities while promoting the principles of equity and fairness that form the foundation of law and order,” said OJP Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Katharine T. Sullivan. “This initiative will help law enforcement officers adapt to the wide range of challenges they face every day, from violent gangs, illegal guns, and lethal drugs to civil unrest, decisions about use of force, and the complex social problems like addiction and mental illness that they are so often called on to resolve.”

Following the announcement of the program, various representatives of the Civil Rights Division, OJP, and U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota will meet with a diverse group of faith, business and community leaders in roundtable events to hear from these stakeholders about important issues related to safe policing and safe communities.

Additional information about the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department is available at www.justice.gov/crt. More information about the Office of Justice Programs and its components, please visit at www.ojp.gov.

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