Updating Our Approach to Safety
The last few years have reminded us all of the importance of fair, effective, respectful law enforcement to keep our communities safe. Dakota County, like the rest of the country, must choose between repeating the past or prioritizing greater cooperation between police and the community. Police cannot be effective if their communities cannot trust them to treat everyone fairly, not to discriminate, and to use violence only when truly necessary. But it is vital to also remember that we place an unfair burden on police- in addition to fighting crime, they must also be social workers, mediators, drug counselors, paramedics, and family counselors, just to name a few. Not only does this burden put tremendous pressure on officers, it also drains them of the time, energy, and resources needed to keep our communities safe. Matt will collaborate with law enforcement and state officials to pioneer a system that reflects our community’s diverse needs.
In the State Senate, Matt fought for investment for the new Dakota County Safety and Mental Health Alternative Response Training (SMART) Center, a new base of operations for collaboration between law enforcement, the people they serve, and other dedicated parties. Matt will continue with this vision of a collaborative effort to reduce crime by fighting discriminatory practices and equipping law enforcement with de-escalation techniques and the correct resources. As County Attorney, Matt will prioritize diverting nonviolent issues such as mental illness, drug use, and family disputes to other professionals, while focusing police time and resources for cracking down on the most serious threats to the safety of our community.