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As Missouri's commission in charge of the minimum standards for law enforcement training continues listening sessions this week to gather feedback about law enforcement, it's not yet clear if or when the commission may make formal recommendations based on what it learns.

The Missouri Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission on Monday and Wednesday plans to publicly discuss the results of a survey of the public about law enforcement training requirements and discipline.

The listening sessions this week are virtual — as was one last week discussing feedback from a survey of law enforcement — and listeners can participate by phone or WebEx online.

Two phone lines for the virtual discussions have been set up to handle a total of up to 1,000 listeners, though comments during the sessions will have to be made to an email address to be provided at the beginning of each session, according to the Department of Public Safety.

The phone numbers and access codes for calling in to listen and the websites and event passwords for the WebEx option are available at dps.mo.gov/news/newsitem/uuid/f3ab4521-3424-4315-b832-f9b97d75f79c.

The listening sessions are scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. Monday and Wednesday.

The POST Commission's duties and powers include establishing minimum standards for basic law enforcement training, setting the minimum number of hours for basic training, establishing continuing education requirements, establishing minimum standards for law enforcement training instructor; and advising the DPS director on law enforcement standards and training.

Widespread protests following the May death of George Floyd, a Black man, in Minneapolis under the knee of a white officer — and the legislative discussions across the country about police reform and accountability that followed — led the POST Commission to schedule surveys and listening sessions to hear what law enforcement and the public have to say about training and law enforcement in general.

The commission took no action last week in its discussion of responses from law enforcement — there were 468 survey responses from law enforcement — and it's not likely the commission will take any formal action this week.

DPS spokesman Mike O'Connell said Friday: "The commission has said they plan to discuss what they've learned in the Oct. 5 POST Commission meeting but not that they would have formal recommendations (in October)."

O'Connell said no more listening sessions are planned beyond the ones this week.

He added while the commission has not said anything about the timing of any formal recommendations — such as whether they would have any by the end of the year — they have taken seriously a charge from Gov. Mike Parson to review law enforcement training in Missouri.

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