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Minnesota legislators vote to end part-time police license

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Minnesota could soon stop licensing part-time police officers who have the same power as their full-time counterparts, but are required to have just 40 hours of training.

Some smaller cities rely on the part-time officers to fill key shifts and patrol local festivals. They wear police uniforms, carry a gun and can make arrests.

The state Senate passed a bill Wednesday that ends licensing for part-time officers this summer. The House previously passed the bill that needs Gov. Mark Dayton's signature. The legislation grandfathers current part-time officers, but they couldn't switch to another police department.

Full-time officers are required to have a two-year degree in Minnesota. Proponents of the bill say that putting officers on the street with just 40 hours of training is too risky.

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