A town located in the southeastern part of Minnesota faces the possibility of losing its police department as all of its officers recently stepped down, according to officials.
Mayor Ellen Anderson Buck revealed during a City Council session on Monday that the Goodhue Police Department chose to resign due to concerns regarding the city’s compensation. The city, situated within the county of the same name, has a population slightly exceeding 1,000 residents, as indicated on its official website.
The City Council convened to explore potential solutions for maintaining law enforcement services following the mass resignation of the police department. Although the primary reason for the meeting was to discuss potential salary increases for the department, the entire team of officers resigned before this topic could be addressed.
Last Wednesday, Police Chief Josh Smith tendered his resignation during a session of the City Council, as reported by The Associated Press. Following the news of Smith’s resignation, a full-time officer and five part-time staff members also chose to step down just two days later.
“Since the resignations have been handed in by our police department, it has been recommended by our city attorney that at this point we need to pursue our other options. So, at this point, there’s no reason to really talk about pay increases, since we no longer have a police force.”
During a council meeting held on July 26th, Smith mentioned that the police department had received no applications for open positions. He also revealed that various law enforcement agencies were actively attempting to attract him and his colleagues to join their ranks.
Requests for comments from individuals within the police department, including Smith, were not promptly answered. Similarly, Anderson Buck did not provide responses to comment requests.
During the council meeting, Anderson Buck mentioned that she had been in communication with the Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office. She also noted that a meeting was arranged for Wednesday to explore options for maintaining police services within the city on a temporary basis.
It was indicated that the police department would remain operational until August 24th.