Today, Mark Schneider joined the LELS team as the new General Counsel.
Law Enforcement Labor Services is proud to announce the 2020 Annual Scholarship Winners:
Each of the winners will receive $1000 to be used toward their education and/or skills training.
Thank you to all those who applied for the scholarship and the LELS members that supported their application by nominating them for the award.
Police Officer Wellness Training Part I
P.O.W.E.R.: Police Officer Wellness by Enhancing Resiliency
8 POST Credits Have Been Approved: Course # 10474-0003
This course is instructed by Marie Ridgeway MSW, LICSW, CCTP, RYT, Adv. ART Certified. Marie is a Trauma Treatment Specialist and Police Therapist. She and her staff provide therapy and various wellness services for over a dozen MN public safety agencies including Blaine PD where the P.O.W.E.R. model originates. Ms. Ridgeway is assisted in this training by multiple active duty Law Enforcement Officers from metro agencies and two Police Chiefs.
When: Friday May 29th via Live Webinar
Cost: $125 per attendee, discount available for groups of 5 or more:
For Law Enforcement:
Until recently, there have been multiple barriers to care for law enforcement including a shortage of therapists who know how to effectively work with this population. Learn about Law Enforcement culture, the nature of Law Enforcement stress exposure, and an overall framework for basic occupational competency. Effective ways to build rapport and treat trauma will also be discussed. We will provide you with the information you need to get started or to build on your work with public safety. This course is also a good primer for social workers who want to effectively collaborate with law enforcement as co-responders or similar roles.
This training is generously sponsored by ART International
P.O.W.E.R. Training Part II will be offered as a next step and open to any therapists who are trained in Accelerated Resolution Therapy. You are encouraged to complete Basic ART Training at your earliest convenience. Basic ART training is a requirement of Part II of this training. Please visit: https://artherapyinternational.org/event/ to register for a Basic ART Training, I encourage you to consider a training with Julie Stender.
Attendance at both Part I and Part II will provide a therapist who wants to work with police with the necessary foundation to do so and an understanding of next steps.
Please note: this course provides 8 POST credits. All attendees will receive a certificate of attendance . For therapists who need clinical hours, a post test will be provided but official CEU’s are not provided.
(March 19, 2020) – Sean Gormley, a former patrol officer and a police chief, says a state arbitrator “got it right,” when he ruled police detective Travis Serafin should be reinstated by the Eden Prairie Police Department.
“Officer Serafin is a terrific detective who paid a tremendous price for making a paperwork mistake while doing his job,” said Gormley, executive director of Law Enforcement Labor Services (LELS). “He lost his job and 16 months of income. He just needs to get back to work and show people that he’s the same top-notch detective he’s always been,” he said.
Serafin was fired in November of 2018 after being accused of falsifying a search warrant on a drug case as part of the Southwest Hennepin Drug Task Force in October 2018. LELS challenged the decision and the case went to arbitration.
Although Serafin made a mistake, Gormley said the decision to terminate him failed to consider his sterling record as a detective, his skills as a police officer, and for the respect his fellow officers have for him. He was also once named Officer of the Year by his department.
Still, Hennepin County prosecutors described Serafin’s actions as “devastating” and “inexcusable.” They asked judges to vacate convictions in 22 cases involving Serafin and to dismiss dozens of pending cases. His employer questioned his ability to credibly testify in future court cases.
“What’s inexcusable is Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman’s decision to let dangerous people back onto the streets without getting all of the facts,” Gormley said. “Officer Serafin was denied basic due process rights by his employer and by Hennepin County,” Gormley said. “It was a rush to judgement. So here we are.”
Gormley added that both the City of Eden Prairie and Hennepin County have done irreparable damage to Serafin’s reputation.
The arbitrator ruled Serafin is a “credible witness” who did not intentionally falsify the search warrant, calling it a “simple, human mistake.” The arbitrator noted Serafin’s mistake came during a nine-day period in which he was managing 20 separate drug cases and had just worked a 17-hour day. The arbitrator also found that Serafin did not knowingly lie under oath.
“He made a mistake. He’s human. This should not prevent him from getting his job back and serving his community. He deserves that chance,” Gormley said.
BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn. (March 19, 2020) – Officials with Minnesota’s largest police union applauded a Washington County jury for finding a Washington County deputy not guilty for using deadly force against a suicidal man who refused to put down his gun and later displayed threating movements.
But Sean Gormley, executive director with Law Enforcement Labor Services, says the case against Brian Krook should never have been tried in the first place.
“This was a terrible tragedy for the family and friends of Benjamin Evans—and extremely traumatic for the responding officers,” he said.
“But we need to stop trying to make criminals out of police officers who are asked to respond to dangerous, no-win situations involving persons who don’t put down their guns.” he said.
The suicidal man refused more than 50 police commands to drop his weapon over the span of 39 minutes. The incident occurred April 12, 2018.
At trial, Deputy Krook testified he observed what he thought were dangerous movements by the individual and warned the lead police negotiator who was on the scene. Moments later, Krook fired his weapon when he detected the individual’s gun turning toward the direction of officers.
“It’s unconscionable that Ramsey County Attorney John Choi and his team put a cop on trial for making a difficult decision, based 100 percent on his training,” said Brian Peters, executive director of the Minnesota Police & Peace Officers Association.”
“Unfortunately, this whole legal process was tainted from the beginning when prosecutors assembled a hand-picked grand jury and chose to ignore a key expert whose opinion about what happened didn’t match their agenda,” he said.
“These critical incidents are an officer’s worst nightmare,” said Gormley. “Deputy Krook made a decision to protect his life and those of his fellow officers,” he said. “That doesn’t make him a criminal—not in a million years.”
LELS asks: Where is the Accountability?