Entire Goodhue Minnesota Police Department resigns over pay dispute, blinding mayor and small town’s 1,300 residents
- Goodhue, a small Minnesota town of just 1,300 people, will be left without police
- Six officers resigned in protest to follow their chief in a pay dispute
- Goodhue Mayor Ellen Anderson-Buck said she was “blindsided” by the decision
The small town of Goodhue, Minnesota is set to be left without a police force after the entire department resigned in protest when the chief quit for mediocre pay.
Goodhue Mayor Ellen Anderson-Buck said she was “blindsided” by Monday’s decision and the small community of just 1,300 people said she was “devastated” by the ruling.
Police Chief Josh Smith said there was no end in sight as he had not had a single candidate to fill the vacancies.
He previously lamented the mediocre pay offered to officers, which stood at $22 an hour in Goodhue, as he warned the city’s city council that “no one is getting in on the game.”
“If you want to keep the PD, and that’s something we want to continue, something has to change drastically and radically, and it has to happen now,” he said.
The entire Goodhue Police Department – made up of a chief, a full-time officer and five part-time officers – has resigned
Goodhue Mayor Ellen Anderson-Buck said she was “blindsided” by the decision
The massive resignation came after a Goodhue City Council meeting on Monday evening and a discussion of police pay rises. The resignations were accepted at the meeting, and the full force is expected to leave on August 24.
Smith had signaled he intended to quit weeks earlier, when he told officials he couldn’t find new hires and was losing prospects to big cities.
He told the city council that he had personally been offered a job in a town and that his own efforts to find more officers for Goodhue had fallen on deaf ears.
“I called all the PDs to get the younger guys into the game. There is no one coming into the game,” he said.
When Smith stepped down, it was a move that prompted the city’s only full-time officer, Anthony Brecht, and five part-time officers to follow suit.
But for residents who fear ending up in anarchy, Anderson-Buck assured the city it would be covered by police.
“That’s no problem…they’ll answer the calls,” she said, noting conversations she had with the Goodhue Sheriff’s Office.
The mayor added that while she was “a little blindsided” by the loss of her police department, the city was “resilient and we will move forward.”
Townspeople have praised its police department for providing ‘excellent safety and security’ in the small community of around 1,300
City officials announced the loss of their future officers in nearby towns
With the small town losing its seven officers, Goodhue’s police chief admitted he couldn’t find anyone to fill vacancies because “no one is coming in.”
Smith said he would continue in his position as chief until August 24, when all of his officers decided to join him in leaving the force.
Residents criticized the loss of the police force, with one telling NBC News she was “devastated” by the news.
Another said the community will miss the strength, which knows very little crime, saying: ‘I can probably speak for everyone when I say they have provided excellent security for our community. And the small town policing they did, we want that back.
The Goodhue Police Department did not immediately respond when contacted for comment.