(The Hill) – A small city in southeast Minnesota is without a police force after its chief and officers resigned over low pay.
Goodhue — population 1,250, according to the 2020 census — accepted the resignation of its police chief, only full-time officer, and five part-time officers at a city council meeting on Monday that was originally intended to discuss pay raises.
Mayor Ellen Anderson Buck said the Goodhue County Sheriff’s Department will patrol the city when the officers’ contracts expire later this month.
“We need to pursue other options. So, at this point, there is no reason to really talk about pay increases since we no longer have a police force,” she said at the meeting Monday evening. “We will have police coverage in the City of Goodhue. That is not an issue.”
The county sheriff will also take over active criminal cases, she said.
The council was adamant on its intent to eventually re-form the department, which Anderson Buck called the “ultimate goal,” though she acknowledged the difficulty of hiring new officers. There are about 200 open police jobs in Minnesota, she said.
“We’re not the first, and we won’t be the last,” she said. “This is not unusual, it does happen.”
Anderson Buck and Chief Josh Smith did not immediately respond to requests for further comment.