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Author Archive for LELS Admin

LELS supports state arbitrator’s decision to reinstate Eden Prairie Police Detective Travis Serafin

(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.

Washington County SO Deputy Krook found Not Guilty

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.”

Man threatens Maple Grove police officers with deadly force – Hennepin County Attorney refuses to charge him

LELS asks: Where is the Accountability?

Police Officer Wellness Training

Part 1 – For Therapists and Law Enforcement Officers
Hosted by the Plymouth Police Department

For more info and to register, please visit:  https://www.marieridgeway.com/power-training

MPPOA Legislative Conference

February 28 – 29, 2020 St. Cloud, Minnesota

The legislative conference provides attendees with up-to-date information on legislative issues. The MPPOA team has worked vigorously to make many improvements to benefit our organization. St. Cloud has rolled out the red carpet for us and this year’s conference will be fun and exciting while learning about the 2020 legislative priorities and issues. We look forward to seeing you there!’

For more information or to register: MPPOA Legislative Conference

Gutierrez Family Benefit

LELS Union Dues Increase

The Law Enforcement Labor Services Board of Directors has approved the increase of monthly union dues.

All members should have received written notification of the increase as well as a report about the Legal Defense Fund

The increase in dues will be effective January 1, 2020.

The new 2020 monthly union dues are as follows:

  • Full-time Licensed Employee Membership    $62.00
  • Full-time Non-Licensed Employee Membership $53.67
  • Part-time Licensed and Non-Licensed Employee Membership $31.72

2020 LELS Events

2020 Legislative Conference:  February 28-29, 2020

2020 LELS Annual Membership Meeting:  June 12-15, 2020

Police K9 Competition

McDonough K9, and the Northwest Area Jaycees are partnering to bring you the 2019 MN Police K9 Competition. Bring the family and come watch some of the best Police K-9 teams from all over the State of Minnesota in a head to head competition showing off the very skills they use every day to serve and protect our communities!

The event is free and open to the public and will be held during Corcoran Country Daze, at the Corcoran Lions Park. Kids activities, Raffle Prizes, Concessions! All funds raised from raffles and other fundraising will be donated to MN LEMA.

We ask that you keep your furry pets at home.

Here is a link from a previous competition! Come join us and support your favorite K9 team.

LELS prevails in Minnesota Supreme Court decision involving Richfield Police Officer – Statement from Sean Gormley, executive director

February 13, 2019

We are pleased with today’s opinion issued by the Minnesota Supreme Court regarding Richfield police officer Nate Kinsey.

This decision reinforces the validity and importance of binding arbitration—a relied-upon tool that employers and unions agree upon through good-faith bargaining as a means to resolve their disputes.

Binding arbitration is a pillar of collective bargaining; it is imperative that employers and unions respect and abide by these decisions, even when the outcome is unfavorable to one side or the other.

In this case, the City of Richfield chose to challenge the decision of an experienced, neutral arbitrator that would have allowed Officer Kinsey to return to his job with the Richfield Police Department.

As a 10-year veteran of the department, Officer Kinsey is held in high regard by his fellow officers and is known for his honesty, commitment and dedication. We are glad he will now have the opportunity to continue his chosen career in law enforcement.

Congratulations to Officer Nate Kinsey and the LELS Legal Team!

MN Supreme Court Ruling