299A.64 Criminal Gang Council and Strike Force.
Subdivision 1. Membership of council. The Criminal Gang Oversight Council consists of the following individuals or their designees: the commissioner of public safety; the commissioner of corrections; the superintendent of the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension; the attorney general; the chief law enforcement officers for Minneapolis, St. Paul, St. Cloud, and Duluth; a chief of police selected by the president of the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association; two sheriffs, one from a county in the seven-county metropolitan area other than Hennepin or Ramsey County and the other from a county outside the metropolitan area, both selected by the president of the Minnesota Sheriffs Association; and the Hennepin, Ramsey, St. Louis, and Olmsted County sheriffs. The council may select a chair from among its members.
Subd. 2. Statewide gang strategy. (a) The council shall develop an overall strategy to eliminate the harm caused to the public by criminal gangs and their illegal activities within the state of Minnesota. In developing the strategy, the council shall consult with representatives from the Community Services Division of the Minnesota Department of Corrections and federal probation officers employed by the United States District Court of Minnesota. As far as practicable, the strategy must address all criminal gangs operating in the state regardless of location or the motivation or ethnicity of the gangs' members. The strategy must address criminal gangs in both the metropolitan area and greater Minnesota. The council shall consult with and take into account the needs of law enforcement agencies and prosecutorial offices in greater Minnesota in developing the strategy. The strategy must target individuals or groups based on their criminal behavior, not their physical appearance. The strategy must take into account the rights of groups and individuals that the strike force may target and protect against abuses of these rights.
(b) In addition to developing the strategy described in paragraph (a), the council shall develop criteria and identifying characteristics for use in determining whether individuals are or may be members of gangs involved in criminal activity. The council shall also develop procedures and criteria for the investigation of criminal gangs and crimes committed by those gangs throughout the state.
Subd. 3. Criminal Gang Strike Force. The council shall oversee the organization and deployment of a statewide Criminal Gang Strike Force. The strike force must consist of law enforcement officers, Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agents, an assistant attorney general, and a communications and intelligence network. The council shall select the members of the strike force who shall serve at the pleasure of the council. The council shall ensure that all law enforcement officers selected to join the strike force are licensed peace officers or federal law enforcement agents found by the Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training to have equivalent qualifications. In selecting members of the strike force, the council shall consult with chiefs of local law enforcement agencies, sheriffs, and other interested parties. The council shall request these individuals to recommend willing and experienced persons under their jurisdiction who would help the strike force and to permit those persons to join it. To the greatest extent possible, entities contributing members to the strike force are encouraged to also contribute equipment and other support. The council shall attempt to ensure that these entities do so.
Subd. 4. Strike force duties. The strike force shall implement the strategy developed by the council and is responsible for tactical decisions regarding implementation of the strategy. In addition and upon request, the strike force shall assist and train local governmental units, law enforcement agencies, and prosecutors' offices in methods to identify criminal gangs and gang members. To the greatest extent possible, the strike force shall operate as a cohesive unit exclusively for the purposes listed in this section. If regional units are established under subdivision 7, the council shall ensure that the existence and operation of these units do not impair the overall goal of a uniform statewide strategy to combat crimes committed by gangs.
Subd. 5. Service; transfer. To the greatest extent possible, members of the strike force shall serve on the force for the entirety of its existence. Members continue to be employed by the same entity by which they were employed before joining the strike force. While serving on the strike force, however, members are under the exclusive command of the strike force. A member who desires to be transferred back to the position the member held before joining the strike force may request a transfer from the council. The council shall approve and arrange for the requested transfer as soon as is practicable. The person in charge of the organization from which the member came also may request that a member be transferred back. In these instances, the council shall approve and arrange for the requested transfer immediately or as soon as is practicable. If a member is transferred from the strike force, the person in charge of the organization from which the member came shall arrange for an experienced individual, acceptable to the council, to replace the transferred person on the strike force. If this arrangement cannot be made, any grant received under section 299A.66, subdivision 1, must be repaid on a prorated basis.
Subd. 6. Commanders. The council shall designate a member of the strike force to be its commander and may appoint an individual assigned to a regional unit established under subdivision 7 to be the commander of the regional unit.
Subd. 7. Regional units. If the council at any time determines that it would be more effective and efficient to have distinct units within the strike force concentrating on specific areas, it may establish regional units within the strike force and select their members. If the council chooses to do so, the other provisions of this section still apply to the individual units, and the council still has the duty and authority to develop necessary procedures and criteria for and to oversee the operation of each individual unit. The council may continue to alter the structure of the strike force and any units composing it in any way designed to further its effectiveness and to carry out the intent of this section.
Subd. 8. Role of assistant attorney general. The assistant attorney general assigned to the strike force shall generally advise the council on any matters that the council deems appropriate. The council may seek advice from other attorneys and, if the council decides it would be appropriate, may retain outside counsel. The assistant attorney general shall train local prosecutors in prosecuting cases involving criminal gangs and in interviewing witnesses and victims and shall cooperate with other strike force members in developing and building strong cases.
Subd. 9. Attorney general; community liaison. (a) The attorney general or a designee shall serve as a liaison between the Criminal Gang Oversight Council and the councils created in sections 3.922, 3.9223, 3.9225, and 3.9226. The attorney general or the designee will be responsible for:
(1) informing the councils of the Criminal Gang Oversight Council's plans, activities, and decisions and hearing their reactions to those plans, activities, and decisions; and
(2) providing the Criminal Gang Oversight Council with information about the councils' position on the oversight council's plans, activities, and decisions.
(b) In no event is the Criminal Gang Oversight Council required to disclose the names of individuals identified by it to the councils referenced in this subdivision.
(c) Nothing in this subdivision changes the data classification of any data held by the oversight council.
Subd. 10. Required report. By February 1 of each year, the council shall report to the chairs of the senate and house of representatives committees and divisions having jurisdiction over criminal justice policy and funding on the activities of the council and strike force. This annual report shall include:
(1) a description of the council's goals for the previous year and for the coming year;
(2) a description of the outcomes the council achieved or did not achieve during the preceding year and a description of the outcomes the council will seek to achieve during the coming year; and
(3) any legislative recommendations the council has including, where necessary, a description of the specific legislation needed to implement the recommendations.