The entire police force of a small city in Minnesota has collectively resigned, potentially leaving the city, which has just over 1,000 residents, without a functioning police department, according to city officials.
According to reports from NBC News, all members of the Goodhue Police Department have resigned from their positions due to concerns about their pay. Mayor Ellen Anderson Buck addressed this issue during a City Council meeting held on Monday.
The original purpose of the meeting was to discuss salary increases for the police department. However, by the time the meeting took place, the mass resignation had already occurred, according to NBC News.
Notably, Goodhue Police Chief Josh Smith submitted his formal resignation on August 9, with the resignation set to take effect on August 23, as reported by the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
During a council meeting on July 26, Chief Smith mentioned that he and his colleagues were actively being recruited by other law enforcement agencies.
He highlighted that their hourly wage of $22 was significantly lower than the minimum of $30 per hour offered by other departments.
He expressed, “There isn’t a strong rationale for us to stay in this little town with inadequate pay, being on-call, and giving up our free time and other responsibilities,” he concluded.” according to NBC News.
Apart from Chief Smith, an additional full-time officer, and five part-time employees resigned following the announcement of Chief Smith’s departure, according to the Associated Press.
Mayor Ellen Anderson Buck shared her sentiments on Monday, expressing, “This deeply saddens us,” as reported by AP.
The news agency further mentioned that the mayor conveyed her surprise at the sudden departure of the police officers, considering that earlier this year, the council had approved a 5% pay increase for officers and a $13,000 raise for Chief Smith.
Neither Mayor Buck nor Chief Smith responded immediately to requests for comment from Insider.
The police department is expected to remain operational until August 24, as indicated by NBC News. During the process of recruiting for the police department, the City Council will rely on assistance from the Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office to maintain law enforcement within the city, according to the Associated Press.
A meeting has been scheduled for the upcoming Wednesday to explore potential temporary solutions, as mentioned by the mayor, according to