as introduced - 80th Legislature (1997 - 1998) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am
1.1 A bill for an act 1.2 relating to crime prevention; creating a criminal gang 1.3 council and strike force to develop and implement a 1.4 strategy to investigate and prosecute crimes committed 1.5 by criminal gangs throughout the state; authorizing 1.6 the council to make various grants; appropriating 1.7 money; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota 1.8 Statutes, chapter 299A. 1.9 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 1.10 Section 1. [299A.625] [CRIMINAL GANG COUNCIL AND STRIKE 1.11 FORCE; GRANTS AUTHORIZED.] 1.12 Subdivision 1. [COUNCIL AND STRIKE FORCE ESTABLISHED.] (a) 1.13 A criminal gang oversight council is established. The council 1.14 shall consist of the following individuals or their designees: 1.15 the commissioner of public safety; the superintendent of the 1.16 bureau of criminal apprehension; the attorney general; the 1.17 Hennepin, Ramsey, St. Louis, and Olmsted county attorneys; the 1.18 chief law enforcement officers for Minneapolis, St. Paul, and 1.19 Duluth; and the Hennepin, Ramsey, St. Louis, and Olmsted county 1.20 sheriffs. The attorney general and the commissioner of public 1.21 safety shall serve as the cochairs of the council. The council 1.22 shall develop the protocol for and oversee the creation and 1.23 operation of a statewide criminal gang strike force. The 1.24 council shall be responsible for developing a statewide 1.25 strategic plan to investigate and prosecute crimes committed by 1.26 criminal gangs. As far as practicable, this plan must address 1.27 all criminal gangs operating in the state regardless of location 2.1 or the motivation or ethnicity of the gangs' members. The plan 2.2 must target individuals or groups based on their criminal 2.3 behavior, not their physical appearance. The plan must take 2.4 into account the rights of groups and individuals that the 2.5 strike force may target and protect against abuses of these 2.6 rights. The strike force shall consist of law enforcement 2.7 officers, bureau of criminal apprehension agents, a 2.8 prosecutorial unit, and a communications and intelligence 2.9 network. The strike force shall implement the strategy 2.10 developed by the council and is responsible for tactical 2.11 decisions regarding the implementation of the strategy. In 2.12 addition and upon request, the strike force shall assist and 2.13 train local governmental units, law enforcement agencies, and 2.14 prosecutor's offices in methods to identify criminal gangs and 2.15 gang members and in ways to successfully prosecute crimes 2.16 committed by these individuals. To the greatest extent 2.17 possible, the strike force shall operate as a cohesive unit 2.18 exclusively for the purposes listed in this section for a 2.19 two-year period. If regional units are created under paragraph 2.20 (e), the council shall ensure that the existence and operation 2.21 of these units do not impair the overall goal of a uniform 2.22 statewide strategy to combat crimes committed by gangs. 2.23 (b) The council shall select the members of the strike 2.24 force and ensure that they are experienced in the investigation 2.25 and prosecution of crimes committed by criminal gangs. The 2.26 council shall ensure that all law enforcement officers selected 2.27 to join the strike force are licensed peace officers. In 2.28 selecting members of the strike force, the council shall consult 2.29 with chiefs of local law enforcement agencies, sheriffs, county 2.30 attorneys, and other interested parties. The council shall 2.31 request these individuals to recommend willing and experienced 2.32 persons under their jurisdiction who would help the strike force 2.33 and to permit those persons to join it. To the greatest extent 2.34 possible, entities contributing members to the strike force are 2.35 encouraged to also contribute equipment and other support. The 2.36 council shall attempt to ensure that these entities do so. 3.1 (c) Members of the strike force shall serve on the force 3.2 for the entirety of its existence unless the council decides 3.3 otherwise. Members shall continue to be employed by the same 3.4 organization they were employed by prior to joining the strike 3.5 force. However, a member shall be under the exclusive command 3.6 of the strike force. A member who desires to be transferred 3.7 back to the position the member held prior to joining the strike 3.8 force, may request a transfer from the council. The council 3.9 shall approve and arrange for the transfer as soon as is 3.10 practicable. If a member is transferred from the strike force, 3.11 the person in charge of the organization from which the member 3.12 came, shall arrange for an experienced individual, acceptable to 3.13 the council, to replace the transferred person on the strike 3.14 force. If this arrangement cannot be made, any grant received 3.15 under subdivision 5 must be repaid on a prorated basis. 3.16 (d) The council may designate a member of the strike force 3.17 to be its leader and if any regional units authorized under 3.18 paragraph (e) are created, may designate leaders of the units. 3.19 This person or these persons shall serve at the pleasure of the 3.20 council and shall be responsible for the day-to-day operation of 3.21 the strike force or unit. However, the council is responsible 3.22 for the oversight of the strike force and any individual units. 3.23 (e) If the council decides that it would be more effective 3.24 and efficient to have distinct regional units concentrating on 3.25 specific areas of the state within the strike force, it may do 3.26 so either by initially creating various regional units within 3.27 the strike force and selecting members accordingly or by doing 3.28 so at a later date. If the council chooses to do this, the 3.29 other provisions of this section shall still apply to the 3.30 individual units and the council shall still have the duty and 3.31 authority to develop necessary protocols for and to oversee the 3.32 operation of each individual unit. The council may continue to 3.33 alter the structure of the strike force and any units composing 3.34 it in any way designed to further its effectiveness and to carry 3.35 out the intent of this section. 3.36 (f) The prosecutorial unit described in paragraph (a) shall 4.1 develop a policy delineating the role of the attorneys in the 4.2 strike force and specifying how criminal cases developed by the 4.3 strike force will be prosecuted. To the greatest extent 4.4 possible, this policy must utilize the expertise of county and 4.5 city attorneys throughout the state, the attorney general's 4.6 office, and the United States Attorney's Office; and must 4.7 maximize cooperation with these prosecutors. It must also 4.8 address the role of the prosecutorial unit in other matters, 4.9 including, but not limited to, training local prosecutors in 4.10 prosecuting cases involving criminal gangs, interviewing 4.11 witnesses, and cooperating with other strike force members in 4.12 developing and building strong cases. The policy must be 4.13 approved by the council before it becomes effective. 4.14 (g) The assistant attorney general assigned to the strike 4.15 force, in addition to helping develop the policy described in 4.16 paragraph (f) and in carrying out the individual tasks specified 4.17 in the policy after it is approved by the council, shall 4.18 generally advise the council on any matters that the council 4.19 deems appropriate. 4.20 Subd. 2. [STATEWIDE JURISDICTION.] Law enforcement 4.21 officers who are members of the strike force shall have 4.22 statewide jurisdiction to conduct criminal investigations and 4.23 shall possess the same powers of arrest as those possessed by a 4.24 sheriff. 4.25 Subd. 3. [LIABILITY AND WORKERS' COMPENSATION.] While 4.26 operating under the scope of this section, members of the strike 4.27 force are "employees of the state" as defined in section 3.736 4.28 and are considered employees of the department of public safety 4.29 for purposes of chapter 176. 4.30 Subd. 4. [REQUIRED REPORT.] By February 1 of each year, 4.31 the council shall report to the chairs of the senate and house 4.32 of representatives committees or divisions having jurisdiction 4.33 over criminal justice policy and funding on the activities of 4.34 the council and strike force. 4.35 Subd. 5. [REIMBURSEMENT GRANTS AUTHORIZED.] The council 4.36 may award grants to local law enforcement agencies, county 5.1 attorney's and sheriff's offices, and other organizations that 5.2 have contributed members to the strike force to hire new persons 5.3 to replace those who have joined the force. A grant may cover a 5.4 two-year period and reimburse the recipient for up to 100 5.5 percent of the salary of the departed person. A recipient of a 5.6 grant under this subdivision shall use the money to hire a new 5.7 person to replace the person who has joined the strike force, 5.8 thus, keeping its complement of employees at the same level. 5.9 The money may not be used to pay for equipment or uniforms. 5.10 Subd. 6. [GRANTS TO EXPAND LOCAL CAPACITY TO COMBAT 5.11 CRIMINAL GANGS.] (a) The council may award grants to local law 5.12 enforcement agencies and city and county attorneys' offices to 5.13 expand the agency's or office's capacity to successfully 5.14 investigate and prosecute crimes committed by criminal gangs. 5.15 (b) Grant applicants under this subdivision shall submit to 5.16 the council a detailed plan describing the uses for which the 5.17 money will be put. The council shall evaluate grant 5.18 applications and award grants in a manner that will best ensure 5.19 positive results. The council may award grants to purchase 5.20 necessary equipment and to develop or upgrade computer systems 5.21 if the council determines that this will best aid the 5.22 recipient's attempts to combat criminal gangs. The council may 5.23 require recipients of grants to provide follow-up reports to the 5.24 council detailing the success of the recipient in combating 5.25 criminal gangs. 5.26 (c) The council shall condition grants made under this 5.27 subdivision to require that recipients agree to cooperate with 5.28 the council and the bureau of criminal apprehension in creating 5.29 and expanding a comprehensive criminal gang information system 5.30 and in implementing the strategy developed by the council to 5.31 combat criminal gangs. Grant recipients shall agree to provide 5.32 the council and bureau with any requested information regarding 5.33 the activities and characteristics of criminal gangs and gang 5.34 members operating within its jurisdiction. 5.35 Sec. 2. [ASSIGNMENT OF BUREAU OF CRIMINAL APPREHENSION 5.36 AGENTS TO STRIKE FORCE.] 6.1 The superintendent of the bureau of criminal apprehension 6.2 shall assign experienced agents to the strike force described in 6.3 section 1. These agents shall operate exclusively for the 6.4 purposes listed in section 1 under the protocol developed by the 6.5 criminal gang oversight council. 6.6 Sec. 3. [ASSIGNMENT OF ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL TO 6.7 STRIKE FORCE.] 6.8 The attorney general shall assign an assistant attorney 6.9 general experienced in the prosecution of crimes committed by 6.10 criminal gangs to the strike force described in section 1. This 6.11 attorney shall operate exclusively for the purposes listed in 6.12 section 1 under the protocol developed by the criminal gang 6.13 oversight council. 6.14 Sec. 4. [APPROPRIATIONS.] 6.15 Subdivision 1. [PUBLIC SAFETY.] $....... is appropriated 6.16 from the general fund to the commissioner of public safety for 6.17 the biennium ending June 30, 1999, for a grant to the criminal 6.18 gang oversight council to be used by the council for the grants 6.19 authorized in section 1, subdivisions 5 and 6, and to fund the 6.20 organization and operation of the strike force described in 6.21 section 1. The council may use part of this appropriation to 6.22 procure necessary equipment and pay other expenses deemed 6.23 necessary by the council. However, the council shall seek to 6.24 minimize expenses related to equipment by encouraging local 6.25 entities to contribute equipment and other support to the strike 6.26 force. 6.27 Subd. 2. [BUREAU OF CRIMINAL APPREHENSION.] (a) $....... 6.28 is appropriated from the general fund to the superintendent of 6.29 the bureau of criminal apprehension for the biennium ending June 6.30 30, 1999, to hire new agents to replace those assigned to the 6.31 criminal gang strike force. 6.32 (b) $....... is appropriated from the general fund to the 6.33 superintendent of the bureau of criminal apprehension for the 6.34 biennium ending June 30, 1999, to develop a comprehensive 6.35 database of information regarding the activities and 6.36 characteristics of criminal gangs and gang members throughout 7.1 the state. 7.2 Subd. 3. [ATTORNEY GENERAL.] $....... is appropriated from 7.3 the general fund to the attorney general for the biennium ending 7.4 June 30, 1999, to hire an assistant attorney general to replace 7.5 the one assigned to the criminal gang strike force.