How Duluth (Minn.) PD Embraces Below 100

LO: How did you hear about Below 100?
RS: I attended a two day conference on use of force by Brian Willis. I’m one of the use-of-force instructors at my department, as well as a training sergeant and a tactical team leader. When he did the presentation, it struck me as something we needed to get behind. … When I got back from the training, I did a presentation to the command staff and they got behind it too.

LO: What did you do?
RS: After getting the support of command staff, I gave presentations to the police union staff and the training staff to get them on board. We spent a little over $1,400 for professional matting and framing of professional Below 100 posters. The chief put up a third of the cost, the union put up a third and the welfare and benevolence association put up the rest.

We put the posters up throughout the building, in high-traffic areas: in the break rooms, in hallways, by printers, etc. It shows our commitment to officer safety.

LO: How has it changed things?
RS: It’s led to a lot of discussions—about what we’re really doing. We’ve always had a mandatory-wear policy, but we started talking about how sometimes people weren’t wearing their vests. Our chief is wearing his vest consistently now and it’s sending a message. We talked about how we drive and the risks. Below 100 opened up these sorts of conversations.

LO: Words of advice—or inspiration?
RS: Often, we think we need to be an official instructor or certified in a topic to talk about it, but you don’t need anything to get behind Below 100. You can take photos of your own accidents. Take your own videos and use them. Don’t wait around for someone who’s supposedly certified to do it for you.   

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