Mpls. police union faults chief for giving IDs to private citizens
MINNEAPOLIS -- The head of the Minneapolis police union criticized Chief Robert Olson for issuing 15 official identification cards to private citizens taking part in foot patrols in north Minneapolis after a disturbance there.
Sgt. John Delmonico said he had been inundated with complaints from officers about the ID cards and Olson's agreement with City Inc., a community group, to organize the patrols. The IDs have a picture of a Minneapolis police badge on them with the words Citizen Patrol Coordinator.
"It was meant to show an officer if they got stopped that they were legitimately involved in patrols and to show they were working with the Police Department," Olson said.
Several dozen people joined the patrols, organized after the disturbance last Thursday night in the Jordan neighborhood. An angry crowd gathered after officers shot at a pit bull during a drug raid. A bullet ricocheted, wounding an 11-year-old boy in the arm.
Delmonico said Tuesday that officers were not informed about the ID cards and did not know what to do when they encountered them.