Letters: Was there evaluation of Minneapolis police? Corrective action? Follow-up?

14October 2020

One fairly new politician screamed, “Dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department!”  Former mayor and a long-time community partner Mayor Sharon Sayles-Belton went for the third alternative vs. all or nothing. She suggested that we work to improve what we have.

My million dollar question: “Where were the supervisors of the offending officers, right on up to the top?” Were performance reviews, evaluations, and observations done for probably one of the most difficult, dangerous and important jobs in our country? How about mini-interventions to redirect poor performance and then regular corrective follow-up?

After 50 years in the workforce my experience is that follow-up rarely happens. The worker continues merrily or sadly on their path, are blamed and eventually fired or forced out, or something tragic happens. An important read: “Coaching for Improved Work Performance” by Ferdinand F. Fournies. The book details how to take corrective action on behavior and performance on a regular basis, not just during “mandatory” yearly or bi-annual reviews. Fournies explains how to do one of the most important functions: Mini-interventions accompanied by regular follow-up.

I just have a hunch that this is one of the missing links to ensure improved work performance of the fine officers that we already have.

Camille Gunderson, St. Paul


Fighting words

Watching the first debate, the first words our of Joe Biden’s mouth were that President Trump was a “liar” and a “racist.”  In my mind I thought, “Oh oh!” The president is a fighter and those words were the trigger to what followed.

You know, back in America’s early years, the most important thing a good man owned was his honor and integrity. With words like that used to a man’s face, in front of his family and friends, the insulter had best be ready to draw.

Tom Foster, St. Paul

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