Entire Minnesota city's police force resigns, Officials ‘blindsided’

GOODHUE, MN – City officials out of Goodhue were reportedly left flabbergasted after the city’s entire police force handed in their resignation letters, to include the city’s police chief. The mass resignation comes roughly three weeks after the Goodhue Police chief informed city officials that current compensation at the department was hindering onboarding efforts.

Mayor Ellen Anderson Buck has assured locals that law enforcement responses will still take place despite the fact that the Goodhue Police Department will have zero officers come August 24th, with the mayor pointing to the Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office as filling the void in the interim.

Goodhue Police Chief Josh Smith and his full-time officer Anthony Brecht, as well as five part-time officers, rendered their resignation letters earlier in August, with the mass resignations being discussed during a city council meeting on August 14th. Ironically, the aforementioned meeting was meant to serve as a forum to discuss police compensation in the city of roughly 1,300 residents.

Back on July 26th during a city council meeting, Goodhue Police Chief Smith raised concerns about the $22 an hour compensation for officers within the city, noting the comparatively low wage is resulting in potential recruits looking at other police departments within the state who can offer a better salary.

Chief Smith emphasized during the city council meeting, “We've got zero applicants and I have zero prospects. I've called every PD around looking for the youngest guys out there getting into the game. There's nobody getting into the game,” adding that even he was fielding multiple job offers offering better pay than the city of Goodhue.

The police chief at the time stressed before the city council in July that, “If you want to keep the PD … something needs to change dramatically and drastically, and it's got to happen now.”

Clearly, the foreshadowing Chief Smith articulated in July came to fruition mere weeks later. Mayor Buck claims the move left officials in the city “blindsided.”

“I think we're all a little bit blindsided by it, but we're resilient and we're going to move forward,” Mayor Buck stated on August 14th, adding that discussions with Goodhue County Sheriff Marty Kelly will transpire in the coming days to ensure any gaps are filled in the interim. “I want to reiterate that we will have police coverage in the city of Goodhue. That is not an issue.”

There seemingly isn’t any obvious animosity as a result of the unexpected mass resignation, with city council member Chris Schmit noting the soon-to-be defunct police force was largely appreciated in the town.

“I can probably speak for everybody that they provided excellent safety and security to our community. And the small town policing that they did: We want that back,” Schmit said.

Goodhue city officials will have more insight on what the transition period will look like come August 16th following a meeting with the Goodhue County Sheriff Office.

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This is sad, but not unexpected.

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