UNITED STATES NEWS

Small Minnesota town will be without police after chief and officers resign, citing low pay

Aug 15, 2023, 9:22 AM | Updated: Aug 16, 2023, 7:08 am

GOODHUE, Minn. (AP) — A small Minnesota town will soon be without a police department, an exodus spurred by low pay for the chief and his officers.

Goodhue Police Chief Josh Smith and one other officer are still on the force, but only until their resignations become official on Aug. 23, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported. Smith submitted his resignation at a City Council meeting Aug. 9, while another full-time officer and five part-time employees resigned Friday after learning that Smith was stepping down.

“This is heartbreaking to us,” Goodhue Mayor Ellen Anderson Buck said Monday night after an emergency council meeting. Goodhue, in southeastern Minnesota, has about 1,300 residents.

The council will seek extra enforcement from the Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office while town officials work to rebuild the department.

Smith did not respond to calls for comment. He told the council in July that the city wasn’t offering enough money to retain officers when other places were willing to offer better pay amid increasing job vacancies. Goodhue also hasn’t matched other cities’ incentives such as sign-on bonuses, which Smith said affected recruiting.

“Trying to hire at $22 an hour, you’re never going to see another person again walk through those doors,” Smith told the council. He said smaller departments pay at least $30 an hour.

The mayor said the mass resignations were surprising because the council gave officers a 5% increase and Smith a $13,000 raise earlier this year.

Goodhue is the latest small Minnesota community that’s struggling to keep up with law enforcement demands amid increasing budget costs and an ongoing shortage of officers.

Last year, the police department in Morris was disbanded after a turbulent few months during which the department eroded to just the chief and one other officer. The town now contracts with the Stevens County Sheriff’s Office.

United States News

FILE - Defendant Kevin Monahan, left, listens to opening statements in his murder trial, Jan. 11, 2...

Associated Press

Man to be sentenced for murdering a woman who was mistakenly driven up his rural New York driveway

FORT EDWARD, N.Y. (AP) — A man who fatally shot a 20-year-old woman in an SUV that was mistakenly driven up his rural driveway in upstate New York is scheduled to be sentenced Friday. Kevin Monahan, 66, was convicted of second-degree murder in the death last April of Kaylin Gillis. Gillis was riding in a […]

40 minutes ago

David and Stephanie Joiner pose by part of an artwork, called Greenwood Pond: Double Site, Sunday, ...

Associated Press

Artists outraged by removal of groundbreaking work along Des Moines pond

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Des Moines arts organization is preparing to rip out a groundbreaking artwork that lines a pond in a historic city park, surprising the New York artist who created the work decades ago and leading to an outpouring of opposition by other artists and local residents. The decision to remove […]

44 minutes ago

Associated Press

Parts of the Sierra Nevada likely to get 10 feet of snow from powerful storm by weekend

RENO, Nev. (AP) — The most powerful Pacific storm of the season is forecast to bring up to 10 feet (3 meters) of snow into the Sierra Nevada by the weekend, forcing residents to take shelter and prompting at least one Lake Tahoe ski resort to close Friday. The storm began barreling into the region […]

49 minutes ago

FILE - Paramedic Peter Cichuniec attends his arraignment at the Adams County Justice Center in Brig...

Associated Press

Paramedic convictions in Elijah McClain’s death spur changes for patients in police custody

DENVER (AP) — Medical responders across the U.S. are rethinking how they treat people in police custody after a jury last December handed down a rare decision: It convicted two Colorado paramedics for their roles in the 2019 death of Elijah McClain following an overdose of a powerful sedative. As one of the paramedics faces […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Some left helpless to watch as largest wildfire in Texas history devastates their town

STINNETT, Texas (AP) — As the largest wildfire in Texas history engulfed his town, Danny Phillips was left helpless. “We had to watch from a few miles away as our neighborhood burned,” he said, his voice trembling with emotion. In his hard-hit town of Stinnett, population roughly 1,600, families like his who evacuated from the […]

2 hours ago

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis testifies during a hearing on the Georgia election inte...

Associated Press

With salacious testimony finished, legal arguments to begin over Fani Willis’ future in Trump case

ATLANTA (AP) — After several days of extraordinary testimony, the judge in the Georgia election interference case against former President Donald Trump is set to hear arguments Friday over whether Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis should be removed from the prosecution over a romantic relationship. Lawyers for Trump and other defendants in the election […]

2 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.

Small Minnesota town will be without police after chief and officers resign, citing low pay