ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - The St. Paul City Council approved a new slate of civilians to the Police Civilian Internal Affairs Review Commission Wednesday, but not before a good deal of pushback from the St. Paul Police Federation.
The commission serves to make recommendations on discipline for officers, subject to state labor laws.
They're claiming changes instituted last year have created "dysfunctional and unprofessional" meetings, reportedly putting officers' private information at risk.
All police seats on the commission were eliminated and four civilian spots were added in 2016 following a University of Minnesota audit and a review by the St. Paul City Attorney's office that suggested the changes be instituted to "enhance the police misconduct complaint process" in a transparent manner. This, Federation officials say, has led to a growing rift between itself and the Commission.
They asked at Wednesday's meeting for the appointment of eight candidates be put on hold until these issues could be addressed, but despite the request all were approved.
According to a statement from the City of St. Paul, the following people will comprise the 2018 PCIARC:
- Susan Trupiano is a long-time resident of the Hamline Midway neighborhood, and has been an active leader with the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. Ms. Trupiano is the interim Chair of the PCIARC and has been a PCIARC Commissioner since 2011. Her term expires December 31, 2017.*
- Daria Caldwell is a Saint Paul Public Schools Teacher and wants to be a commissioner to better serve the community where she works and lives. As an educator, Ms. Caldwell has stressed the importance of civic engagement and wants to be an example for her students.
- Kristin Clark is an attorney who intends to use her legal background to make impartial and responsible decisions involving difficult issues. Ms. Clark has been active with boards and nonprofits advocating on behalf of victims of sexual assault and access to healthcare in low-income areas.
- Sasha Cotton is a Public Health Specialist/Youth Violence Prevention Coordinator for the City of Minneapolis, a life-long resident of Saint Paul, Vice Chair of the African American Leadership Council, and has substantial community relations experience with youth and the police.
- Eric Forstrom is Vice President Group Product Manager with US Bank, has lived in Saint Paul for more than 20 years, and will use his financial background to make data driven decisions.
- Kaohly Her is a long-time Saint Paul resident who has significant community outreach experience, including as a former HREEO Commissioner.
- Bryan Langford was appointed to the PCIARC in 2016, and is District 2 Community Council board member. An Engineer with Carestream Health, Mr. Langford uses his engineering background to analyze problems with the facts and data necessary to facilitate solutions.
- Rachel Sullivan-Nightengale is a long-time Saint Paul resident that is committed to equitable communities and working together to strengthen the city. Ms. Sullivan-Nightengale has a master’s degree in teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) and is licensed to teach Adult Basic Education.
- Constance Tuck recently retired as the Chief Equity and Development Officer for the Minnesota Department of Human Services. As an attorney, Ms. Tuck has extensive mediation experience as well as assisting government agencies develop relationships with the public.
- Richard Heydinger (term begins January 1, 2018) is a retired Saint Paul resident with decades of community involvement and racial equity work, including as a board member of the Central Corridor Funders Collaborative, Ujamaa Place and Frogtown Farms.