Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office to provide police presence for the city of Goodhue
(ABC 6 News) – The city of Goodhue can breathe a sigh of relief.
The city was left in a lurch after a disagreement between the police force and elected officials resulted in the abrupt resignation of the entire police department.
But now, police services will officially be passed onto the Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office, which has agreed to offer their services between now and the end of the year.
“The only difference I can tell you is going to be a color of the uniform and a color of the squad car,” Goodhue County Sheriff Marty Kelly said.
Every day, the Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office will provide police presence for six hours a day at a cost of $43,548; which will be paid for by the city.
The agreement follows a move that ended up garnering national attention.
In early August, the chief of police abruptly resigned following a disagreement over salary, staffing, and officer retention. As a result, the rest of the police department followed his lead, turning in their badges and resigning.
But now, they’ve found a fix, at least in the short term.
“The community is very excited to see your presence here and they’ve already noticed the presence so thank you,” Goodhue mayor Ellen Anderson Buck said.
Even though there will still be a law enforcement presence in Goodhue, staffing will remain an ongoing issue.
The city now has to start from scratch to replenish its police department. But, it’s not only the city who are feeling the pressure.
Along with the City of Goodhue, the sheriff’s office has contracts with Wanamingo and Pine Island. That means that this new agreement further extends a sheriff’s office whose ranks are not completely filled.
“We are spread thin at this point because like I say we are four staff down, once Goodhue decides how many extra people besides that four do we need is it one person is it two persons,” Sheriff Kelly said.
The city council and Mayor Buck declined to talk more about the contract but assured everyone there would be law enforcement presence for the rest of the year.
The question now is, how will the city move forward?