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West St. Paul voters will take to the polls on August 11 (or earlier) to decide who will compete to be mayor in the November general election. There are three candidates contesting the mayoral primary in 2020, and the top two will advance to November.
We’ve asked the candidates a series of questions to see where they stand on the issues. We’ll share one question and the responses at a time leading up to the election. We’ve already covered the biggest challenge facing West St. Paul, what the candidates hope to accomplish in their two years in office, how they’ll handle packed and highly charged City Council meetings, how they’ll support trails, and what they’ll do about a tight budget. Here’s the final candidate question.
Police departments are facing increased scrutiny in the aftermath of the George Floyd case. The West St. Paul City Council is already reviewing the Use of Force policy. What needs to change here in West St. Paul?
We posed this question to all mayoral candidates (Jeramie Torkelson has dropped out, though his name will still appear on the ballot). Here are their responses:
(no campaign site)
Use of force is definitely a major concern of mine.
Kimetha “KaeJae” Johnson
We need to build a real foundation of trust in the community by redefining our view on community engagement while continuing to develop a more diverse police department both in race and gender.
I am extremely proud of our police department. Our police force of 32 officers are constantly involved in community outreach programs. Throughout the year, these dedicated officers participate in over 100 outreach events. It takes the highest character to be a West St. Paul police officer. Each new candidate is screened to determine if they can live up to the community’s expectation. These trainings and screenings have and will remain a high priority in West St. Paul.
Vote on August 11
The primary election is on Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020. The West St. Paul city website has details on where and how to vote. You can also vote early with an absentee ballot, either by mail or by stopping at the Dakota County offices.
See our 2020 election coverage for more on where the candidates stand.
Thank you to the candidates for taking the time to respond to my questions.
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