(NewsReady.com) – Police officers put their lives on the line every day. There’s an expectation they will be paid decently for their efforts. That’s not what happened in a Minnesota town; now, the area is without police.
On August 23, Goodhue will no longer have a police department. Currently, Police Chief Josh Smith and one other officer are still working, but their resignations will become official on that date.
The police chief resigned on August 9 at a city council meeting. Five part-time cops and another full-time officer also resigned from their positions on August 11. The chief has allegedly taken a job with another police force for more money, the very thing he was fighting for in Goodhue.
Smith reportedly complained to the city council that they were not paying officers enough. During an earlier meeting, he told members that they are trying to hire and retain officers by offering $22 per hour while other departments pay at least $30. He said they were “never going to see another person walk through those doors” for that pay. During a July meeting, he told the council that he doesn’t want to “be the guy working 80 hours a week” because he’s the only one at the department. He said he’s already on call 24 hours a day, and his family is suffering without any time with him.
Ellen Anderson Buck, the town’s mayor, said losing the police department was “heartbreaking.” The town has about 1,300 residents, and now they will have to use the Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office until they can hire new officers. However, the county could charge as much as $325,000 annually, far more than it has allocated for a police budget.
Police departments across the country are struggling to recruit officers. Both large and small cities are having a problem finding personnel to fill the positions. It’s not just pay causing the issues; experts have also cited new measures to hold police accountable. It’s creating a public safety issue nationwide with little relief in sight.
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