By Linda Scherer
WINSTED, MN In addition to Winsted Mayor Steve Stotko’s city responsibilities, he is broadening his horizons by taking on some state responsibilities, as well.
Stotko was recently appointed by Governor Mark Dayton to serve on the Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST).
The League of Minnesota Cities website has a section called “get involved,” and Stotko said the POST Board’s listing caught his eye.
“I had an uncle that was a peace officer in St. Cloud back in the 1960s. I have a nephew who is attending St. Cloud State studying to be a peace officer. My godson/nephew is a peace officer in Minnetonka, and my youngest son is a federal agent for the department of the treasury,” Stotko said. “I’ve also had the opportunity to ride along with all of our peace officers and found that to be quite an experience. They (peace officers) have quite a job to do and they do it well. I thought this would be an interesting position to try out for.”
The Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training was created by statute in 1977. The mission of the POST Board is to develop, maintain and enforce selection, education and licensing standards for law enforcement agencies and officers.
As an occupational licensing agency, POST is responsible for licensing over 11,700 peace officers and more than 350 active part-time peace officers.
POST operates under state administrative rule and is comprised of 15 members appointed by the governor.
The 15 members of the board include:
• two members who are Minnesota county sheriffs;
• four members from among peace officers in Minnesota municipalities, of which at least two are police chiefs;
• two members who are peace officers, of which at least one is a member of the Minnesota State Patrol Association;
• the superintendent of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension;
• two members from among peace officers or former peace officers who are currently employed on a full-time basis in a professional peace officer education program;
• two members, of which one is an administrator chosen from Minnesota colleges or universities that offer professional peace officer education, and one an elected city official (Stotko) in a city with a population of less than 5,000, outside the metropolitan area; and
• two members from the general public.
Stotko has been assigned to the by-laws committee and is an alternate to the standards committee and the complaint committee
The 15-member board acts as one voice in setting policy, and the staff of the board carries out the implementation of those policies and directives.
Stotko applied for the appointment last fall, and at first, assumed he hadn’t been selected because he hadn’t heard anything back.
“In January, I was told I was a finalist for the position, and I was appointed Feb. 28,” Stotko said.
Because Stotko is replacing another POST Board member, his term is for one year. If he chooses to run for re-election and wins, he would be reappointed for a two-year term.
His first board meeting will take place in late April.