Small Minnesota town will be without police after chief and officers resign, citing low pay

by Andrew Wright
fokus keyword: resignation

The police department in a small Minnesota town will soon be non-existent due to a mass resignation caused by inadequate pay for the chief and officers. The situation in Goodhue is critical, as Police Chief Josh Smith, along with another full-time officer and five part-time employees, has decided to resign. The resignations will take effect on Aug. 23, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Smith’s announcement on Aug. 9 prompted the others to follow suit, citing low wages and a lack of competitive incentives such as sign-on bonuses as major factors in their decisions. Smith had previously expressed his frustration to the city council, noting that Goodhue’s pay rate of $22 an hour was insufficient compared to the minimum $30 an hour offered by smaller departments elsewhere.

Mayor Ellen Anderson Buck expressed shock and sadness over the mass departures during an emergency council meeting on Monday. The town, located in southeastern Minnesota and home to around 1,300 residents, will look to the Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office for supplementary law enforcement as it struggles to rebuild its police department.

The city’s efforts to retain officers by offering a 5% increase and a $13,000 raise for Smith earlier this year seem to have fallen short. Smith did not respond to inquiries for comment, but his words to the council in July revealed a bleak picture, stating that the current wages would never attract new recruits.

Goodhue’s predicament mirrors the challenges faced by other small communities in Minnesota, such as Morris, which dissolved its police department last year after dwindling to just the chief and one officer. The ongoing shortage of officers and escalating budget costs have put significant strain on law enforcement in the region, highlighting a broader issue that may need immediate attention and action.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about fokus keyword: resignation

Why are the police chief and officers resigning in Goodhue, Minnesota?

The police chief and officers in Goodhue, Minnesota are resigning due to low pay. The chief has expressed frustration with the city’s inability to offer competitive wages and incentives, such as sign-on bonuses, making it difficult to retain and recruit officers.

What measures is the town of Goodhue taking in response to the mass resignations?

Goodhue is seeking extra enforcement from the Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office while town officials work on rebuilding the department. The mass resignations have led to an emergency council meeting to address the situation.

When will the resignations become official?

The resignations of Police Chief Josh Smith and one other full-time officer, along with five part-time employees, will become official on Aug. 23.

Has the town made any previous attempts to retain the officers?

Yes, earlier in the year, the council gave officers a 5% increase and Chief Smith a $13,000 raise. However, these efforts were not sufficient to prevent the resignations.

Are other small Minnesota communities facing similar challenges?

Yes, Goodhue’s situation reflects a broader issue in small Minnesota communities. Last year, the police department in Morris was disbanded due to similar challenges, and the town now contracts with the Stevens County Sheriff’s Office. Increasing budget costs and an ongoing shortage of officers have put significant strain on law enforcement in the region.

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Rebecca91 August 16, 2023 - 10:15 pm

Where’s the money going if not to our protectors?? This is a wake-up call for all small towns! we need to stand with our police. Safety first, people.

TommyG August 17, 2023 - 12:33 am

This isnt just Goodhues problem. Lots of places facing this. Why arent we talking bout it more?? Not enough until it hits home I guess…

JennySmith42 August 17, 2023 - 5:12 am

This is just terrible; our officers deserve better. can’t believe the city wouldn’t do more to keep them on the force. What are they thinking…

Mike_T August 17, 2023 - 6:41 am

i agree with Jenny, pay needs to be better. but also what about the raise, did it not help? Seems like a complex issue. thoughts?

SarahLovesCats August 17, 2023 - 1:57 pm

I live near Goodhue and this is scary news. We should all care bout our officers, they keep us safe and deserve to be paid properly! Make some noise ppl!


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