The community of Goodhue, Minnesota, will be without a police department on August 24, and neighbors are worried about the outcome.
During a special meeting Monday, city council members appeared deeply troubled over the issue, according to KARE.
While speaking of the problem, Mayor Ellen Anderson Buck said she was “blindsided” when she learned of the resignations.
The officers reportedly quit over issues about their pay, but Buck explained officials were trying to increase those numbers.
The KARE article continued:
The mayor says the city gave its officers a 5% pay increase and the chief a $13,000 raise at the beginning of the year, as the council now works to restructure its budget to compete with bigger cities. The Office of the State Auditor shows Goodhue had a public safety budget of about $375,000 in 2022.
When commenting on the Goodhue Police Department’s predicament, Fox Business’ Madison Alworth said Wednesday:
That’s shocking to hear, but the reality is we’re dealing with this across the U.S., departments struggling with retention and as a result then having people come in is also an issue. So this really started back in 2018 when in the past couple of years its gotten much worse.
She continued, stating that “sixty-five percent of police agencies reported an increase in retirements between 2020 and 2022. And then this part is even more concerning: 66 percent reported an increase in resignation.”
According to Alworth, Goodhue’s police chief, Josh Smith, said $22 an hour was not competitive. She also noted that higher pay was one answer to the problem, citing other departments.
It is important to note the community of Goodhue is located southeast of Minneapolis, a city where in July 2022, neighbors with the Minneapolis Safety initiative reportedly won a contract for $210,000 for additional police patrols as crime plagued the area, according to Breitbart News.
The article continued:
In June 2020, the Minneapolis City Council unanimously approved a pledge to try and replace the police department with a “community-led public safety system,” Breitbart News reported.
The news came “amid a pressure campaign spearheaded by Black Lives Matter activists and far-left Democrats to defund law enforcement in the wake of protests and riots over George Floyd’s death,” the outlet said.
Buck says Goodhue is devastated by the resignations, adding, “We’re trying to muddle through this and do the best we can and provide service for our community.”
In 2022, Morris, Minnesota, disbanded its police department when it was cut down to only two officers for the job, NewsNation reported Wednesday:
Now, Goodhue’s council members are thinking about contracting with the Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office for the time being, and the members hope to rebuild their local police agency.