Minneapolis Bans ‘Warrior-Style’ Training for Police Officers

By Cinnamon Janzer, Next City

During his State of the City address on April 18, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey announced that the city will ban its police officers from participating in “warrior-style” training, even when it’s self-funded and off duty.

(Photo by Matthew Paulson / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

(Photo by Matthew Paulson / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

While the Minneapolis Police Department doesn’t currently offer any fear-based training, they “remain available to officers off-duty,” Frey said. “That’s why today we’re announcing that the Minneapolis Police Department will be — we believe — the first major department in the nation to prohibit fear-based training” both on and off-duty.

“Warrior-style” training takes a fear-based approach to policing that prioritizes officer safety over community safety by conditioning trainees to view all encounters as inherently dangerous. The most well-known examples are offered by retired Lt. Colonel Dave Grossman and his Grossman Academy. The philosophy behind his courses and his book, “On Killing,” is this: Both soldiers and police officers should be trained to kill with less hesitation.

After praising the department for various achievements like offering wellness trainings to help officers combat the trauma they experience on the job, Frey explained that the popular fear-based trainings run counter to the department’s vision.

“There are external trainings that have no place in the vision and culture shift outlined by our chief. Chief Medaria Arradondo’s MPD rests on trust, accountability, and professional service. Whereas fear-based, warrior-style trainings like ‘killology’ are in direct conflict with everything that our chief and I stand for in our police department,” Frey said.

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