Goodhue City Council looks to fill police ranks after mass resignations

(ABC 6 News) – When Goodhue’s police chief Josh Smith unexpectedly submitted his resignation last week, nearly all the other members of the town’s police force said they’d be quitting too.

The city made it clear to everyone, they want to have their police force back and reassured they will still have help in an emergency. The meeting was supposed to be about officer pay, something the chief brought up, and why he resigned.

Instead, it’s a meeting focused on finding people to fill the chief’s job and the other officers that left.

“They deserve everything that they get and nobody’s going to put their life on the line for a very low rate,” councilmember Chris Schmit said.

Goodhue County assured the city it will help make sure there are services. The city is also in talks with Wanamingo which is offering to help provide staff.

The mayor acknowledged the city is in a tough spot. In Minnesota and across the country, fewer people are becoming police officers.

“There are 202 openings right now in the state of Minnesota for police officers so it can be done, but it will take some time,” Mayor Ellen Anderson Buck said.

The city wants to have a plan by August 23rd which is next Wednesday. The current chief and two other officers will be on staff until then.

We reached out to Chief Smith for comment but he declined.

The mayor said he was given a $13,000 raise earlier this year.