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Phillips’s bill was inspired by Minnesota’s award-winning “Pathways to Policing” program

WASHINGTON D.C. — Today, Rep. Dean Phillips announced that the Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCCA) endorsed his bipartisan Pathways to Policing bill. The MCCA is the first endorsement from a national police group after the bill received endorsements from every major police association in Minnesota and the Star Tribune Editorial Board.

“During more than 80 conversations and ride-alongs I’ve had with law enforcement leaders and rank-and-file officers, one theme has been pervasive: police departments here in Minnesota and around the country are struggling to recruit quality candidates,” said Rep. Phillips. “We will not achieve public safety for all with understaffed law enforcement agencies, and we will not restore connections to the communities they serve without diversifying and recruiting from within those communities. I’m pleased that public safety leaders and colleagues of all political perspectives are getting behind my bill to boost police recruitment and attract a new generation of service-oriented officers.”

WATCH: Today, the Congressman published video from a recent press event unveiling local support from law enforcement leaders, click here to watch.

“This is another example of Representative Phillips being on the right side of issues that are confronting Minnesotans every day,” said Minnesota Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington. “The gold standard in policing is a department that is both responsive to and reflective of the people we serve, and the Pathways to Policing approach does both of those things.”


“Research has shown us that it’s much easier for police departments to build deep trust and deeper relationships when the department is more reflective of the community it serves,” said Jeff Potts, Executive Director of the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association. “This legislation helps agencies recruit the right people to do the vitally important work of keeping their communities safe and I’m grateful to Congressman Phillips and his staff for their focused effort and attention to address this growing crisis.”

“Congressman Phillips is authentic in what he’s doing here,” said Bloomington Police Chief Booker Hodges. “This legislation has the possibility to transform our profession, so pay attention.”

“Of all the challenges facing law enforcement and public safety today, recruiting and hiring may be the most critical,” said Minnesota Fraternal Order of Police Vice President Patrick Chelmo. “Public safety is a complex recipe built on public service and public trust. These ideas must be at the forefront of our recruiting and hiring. Communities deserve the best from law enforcement, and that must include nontraditional recruits. Perspective gained from life experience is an incredibly valuable tool for our cops and it leads daily to better outcomes. The Pathways to Policing program makes these outcomes possible. Thank you, Congressman Phillips, for your steadfast support and vision of safer communities for all.”

“The Minnesota Sherriff’s Association is behind this bill,” said Maj. Dawanna Witt of the Hennepin Country Sherriff’s Office. “This Pathways to Policing program will open the doors for us to think outside the box and help people to know the good parts and good people in this profession, and how it is about helping people.

The Pathways to Policing Act is a new bipartisan bill to help state and local law enforcement agencies struggling to maintain adequate staffing levels recruit a new generation of public servants.

Endorsed by the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association, the Minnesota Fraternal Order of Police, and the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, the Pathways to Policing Act would provide $50 million to the Department of Justice (DOJ) for marketing campaigns to boost recruitment nationwide, and an additional $50 million to create and operate Minnesota-styled “Pathways to Policing” programs supported by local and statewide marketing and recruiting efforts.

Priority for the grants to states, local governments, and law enforcement agencies under this program will be given to applicants seeking to build a diverse police force that represents the communities they serve.