Officers out, deputies in as Goodhue loses PD and locks in deal with sheriff’s office
With the Goodhue Police Department out, the Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office is in.
During Wednesday’s city council meeting, Goodhue’s mayor and city council approved a contract with the sheriff’s office to provide law enforcement coverage for the rest of the year.
It’s a deal worth more than $43,500 — the amount the city will pay the sheriff’s office — and puts at least one deputy in the city for at least six hours a day.
Last week, city leadership approved resignation letters from the entire police department, including its chief.
A former officer with the department told sister-station KAAL-TV in Rochester that city leadership had ignored the chief’s requests for higher pay and better recruitment efforts.
Goodhue Sheriff Marty Kelly says while his office can step in for now, he hopes this trend doesn’t last.
“This isn’t just a local issue in Goodhue,” Sheriff Kelly said, adding that it’s also a national issue. What he’s referencing is smaller police stations losing officers to either bigger departments or sheriff’s offices.
Currently, his office has four open positions and he says that people have applied — but, he worries some of the applicants are from smaller departments and he’ll only add to the trend he’s working to curb if he brings them on.
“We have to just get the word out to the young children, be role models, [and] have our staff really look at what the future of law enforcement is,” Sheriff Kelly said.
“I think we will rebound, but it’s going to take a few years,” he added.
Following Wednesday’s meeting, the Goodhue City Council and Mayor declined to comment on the contract details.