Entire Police Force Resigns From Minnesota Town

The entire police force in Goodhue, Minnesota, a tiny town in the state’s southeastern corner, resigned, including the chief.

Goodhue Mayor Ellen Anderson Buck told the media that she thinks everyone was shocked by it, but they are resilient and will press on.
For the record, Buck has promised that Goodhue would receive police protection, and it wouldn’t be an issue.

Chief Josh Smith, who will remain in his job until August 24th, has informed municipal leaders that he has been unable to recruit new officers.

On July 26, Smith lamented that it had been three weeks, and they had no candidates and no possibilities. He contacted every police department in the area, but no one seemed interested in applying. Something has to change immediately if we are to maintain the Policy Department.

A member of the Goodhue City Council has lauded the police department for their efforts to keep the city safe.

In July, Smith informed the council that the city wasn’t paying enough to keep its police officers. Smith also claimed that Goodhue’s failure to match other communities’ incentives, like sign-on bonuses, had a negative impact on the city’s ability to recruit.

A report shows Smith warned the council that if they try to hire someone at only $22 an hour, you’ll never see another police officer again. He said that even smaller departments paid $30 per hour.

The mayor expressed surprise at the many resignations, citing the council’s recent decision to boost salaries for police officers by 5% and Smith by $13,000.

Goodhue is just the latest Minnesota town to find itself unable to meet police needs because of rising expenditures and chronic scarcity of personnel.

After a tumultuous few months in which the Morris police force was reduced to only one officer and the Chief of Police, the department was abolished last year. The city has a contract with Stevens County instead.