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Twin Cities Campus prepares for March trial of Derek Chauvin

February 23, 2021

Cardinal Update News Newsletters

The City of Minneapolis and the State of Minnesota are actively preparing for the potential of civil unrest related to the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged in the killing of George Floyd last May. Jury selection for the Chauvin trial is scheduled to begin on March 8. The trial will likely run through late April.

According to a Feb. 18 article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, state and local officials have spent the past eight months planning for the trial and considering safety measures to manage the expected civil unrest and any possible destruction, which occurred last summer. “Operation Safety Net” includes the coordination of thousands of police, sheriffs’ deputies, and the Minnesota National Guard. In addition to safety measures, it will manage road closures and the protection of critical infrastructure.

Representatives from the Campus Security, Operations, Maintenance, IT, and Marketing and Communication departments are reviewing campus emergency response plans and conducting “tabletop exercises” to prepare for scenarios that range from sheltering in place to a temporary campus closure. New cameras have been installed to assist with monitoring the campus facilities, and GardaWorld, our Campus Security partner, is providing guidance on mitigating safety risks. Similar to last May, an internal critical response team will monitor conditions throughout the trial and communicate modifications to campus operations as needed.

At this point, we are planning for campus operations to continue as scheduled. Any changes will be communicated by email and the emergency notification system through Blackboard Connect.

Faculty, staff, and students on the Twin Cities Campus are encouraged to take the following steps to prepare for the upcoming trial:

  1. Confirm that your emergency contact information is current on your portal.
  2. Monitor email regularly for any schedule changes.
  3. For faculty and staff who are able to perform the duties of their role remotely, we will be monitoring the situation and taking guidance from authorities and will communicate that information as we make determinations.
  4. Identify alternate routes between your home and the campus in the event of road closures.

As always, Saint Mary’s University is committed to the safety of its students, faculty, and staff through advanced preparedness and appropriate communication.