A judge has ruled that seven detectives who investigate financial crime for the state commerce department are not essential workers. Ramsey County Judge Kathleen Gearin denied the state police detectives' petition on Friday. She wrote that while law enforcement is a core government function, the court doesn't have the authority to determine how many and what types of officers should remain on the job.
MPR's Laura Yuen reported on the petition this week. At the hearing yesterday, one of the detectives, Jonathan Ferris, asked to be allowed to return to work. He said:
As members of the law enforcement profession, each of us took an oath to uphold the constitution, our community and the agency we serve. We take that oath very seriously. As law enforcement officers, we ask that you allow us to recognize that oath and allow us to perform our duties.
The insurance-fraud division investigates financial crimes and takes down scammers and swindlers. Ferris said county and federal prosecutors often charge the targets of the investigations with felonies, including racketeering and arson.
The judge's ruling is available online here.