Minnesota Police Department Resigns: The complete police force of a small town in Minnesota has collectively resigned due to concerns over their pay of $22 per hour, leaving the community of slightly over 1,000 residents potentially without an operational police department, as confirmed by officials.
NBC News has reported that the entire staff of the Goodhue Police Department has stepped down from their roles due to compensation issues. Mayor Ellen Anderson Buck made this announcement during a City Council meeting held on Monday.
Originally intended to address wage hikes for the police department, the meeting was held after the mass resignation had already occurred, according to NBC News.
Chief Josh Smith of the Goodhue Police submitted his official resignation on August 9, as reported by the Associated Press. The resignation is set to take effect on August 23, detailed in the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
During a council meeting on July 26, Chief Smith noted that he and his colleagues were being actively recruited by other law enforcement agencies, as NBC News has reported. He highlighted that their pay rate of $22 per hour was significantly lower compared to the minimum of $30 per hour offered by other departments.
In conjunction with Chief Smith’s departure, one other full-time officer and five part-time staff members also resigned on the subsequent Friday, as per the Associated Press.
Mayor Ellen Anderson Buck expressed her deep sadness over the situation, emphasizing the heartbreak that this mass departure has caused during a statement on Monday, as documented by AP.
According to the news agency, the mayor revealed that the abrupt exodus of officers was unexpected, as the council had previously granted a 5% pay raise to officers and a $13,000 increase to Chief Smith earlier in the year.
Both Mayor Buck and Chief Smith did not provide immediate responses to Insider’s inquiries for comments.
The police department will remain active until August 24, noted by NBC News.
As recruitment efforts are underway for the police department, the City Council will lean on assistance from the Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office to maintain law enforcement services in the town, AP has reported.
A meeting has been arranged for the following Wednesday to explore potential interim solutions, as outlined by Mayor Buck and relayed by NBC News.