On March 25, legislation was passed on the Senate Floor requiring the Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) to consult with law enforcement and treatment and mental health experts to craft a model policy about the use of informants. The reform would also require all Minnesota police agencies to adopt an identical or similar policy and certify it annually with the board, which licenses officers.
“Confidential informants are essentially partners with law enforcement,” Senator Warren Limmer (R-Maple Grove) said, “yet they do not have the same knowledge or training that others on the force have. Informants provide a service to departments that is unlike any other, and it is absolutely imperative that we do all we can to protect them.”
The bill, known as “Matthew’s Law,” is named after Matthew Klaus, a 32-year-old Rochester resident who died of a drug overdose while working as a confidential informant for the Rochester Police Department in 2019. One of the goals of the reform is to ensure law enforcement provides better protections for informants, as well as require training for the law enforcement agencies that use them.
Klaus had worked with Rochester police in 2016 as an informant. Before his death, he bought purported heroin three times and was scheduled to make a fourth buy when he overdosed in his Rochester home.