A Minnesota city is without a police department after the city council accepted the resignations of the chief and a full-time officer Monday following the resignations of five part-time officers.
"We no longer have a police force," said Goodhue Mayor Ellen Anderson Buck, according to the Post-Bulletin.
Salary and recruitment were points of contention surrounding the resignations, said Chief Josh Smith. He told lawmakers during a meeting last month that Goodhue's officer pay of $22 per hour isn't competitive in the region, and the department struggled with recruiting younger officers, who were being snatched up by larger departments. Goodhue had a police force of three officers, but one resigned in June, and that position wasn't filled.
"There's zero incentive to come out here to a small town," Smith said at the July 26 meeting. "Low pay, being on call, affecting your free time and everything else."
A meeting is set for Wednesday with Goodhue County Sheriff Marty Kelly to discuss that agency providing police coverage for the city on a temporary basis. The city is expected to be asking for about 16 hours daily of coverage from the sheriff's office.
Going forward, Buck said she wants the city to find a way to increase police pay, so it can draw officer candidates to the community.
"So we're going do our very best to be competitive and to bring police officers to come here," she Buck. "This is a great place to live and work, and I think we'll get them back here. It's just going to take some time to rebuild."