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Entire police department in Minnesota city resigns

Blackadder1916

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What does $22 an hour get you?

Entire police department in Minnesota city resigns​

The Goodhue City Council discussed options for police coverage after the entire department's resignation.

A small city in southeastern Minnesota could be left without a police department after the entire force recently resigned, officials said.

The Goodhue Police Department resigned because of issues with the city's pay, Mayor Ellen Anderson Buck said at a City Council meeting Monday. The city, which is in the county of the same name, it has a population of just over 1,000, according to its website.

The City Council met to discuss options for police coverage after the department’s resignation. The meeting was initially called so the city could discuss salary increases for the department, but the entire team resigned before it could happen.

Police Chief Josh Smith submitted his resignation at a City Council meeting last Wednesday, The Associated Press reported. A full-time officer and five part-time employees resigned two days after having learned about Smith.

"Since the resignations have been handed in by our police department, it has been recommended by our city attorney that at this point we need to pursue our other options," Anderson Buck said at the top of the meeting. "So, at this point, there's no reason to really talk about pay increases, since we no longer have a police force."

At a July 26 council meeting, Smith said there were "zero applicants" for the police department and disclosed that other law enforcement agencies were trying to recruit him and his colleagues.

"So right now with our current — trying to hire at $22 an hour, you're never going to see another person again walk through those doors. That's it," Smith said. "Unless you guys do a dramatic change."

Smith stressed the urgency of the matter and said smaller police departments he has looked into pay at least $30 an hour.

"There's zero incentive to come out here to a small town, low pay, being on call, affecting your free time and everything else," he said.

Members of the police department, including Smith, didn't immediately respond to requests for comment. Anderson Buck also didn't respond to requests for comment.

At the council meeting, Anderson Buck said she has been in contact with the Goodhue County Sheriff's Office and has a meeting scheduled Wednesday to discuss police coverage for the city in the interim.

The police department will be on duty until Aug. 24, she said.

What is an entire depatment?

Or according to the story.
Police Chief Josh Smith submitted his resignation at a City Council meeting last Wednesday, The Associated Press reported. A full-time officer and five part-time employees resigned two days after having learned about Smith.

And the mean streets of Goodhue
 

They might, or might not, have a "Right to Rescind Resignation" in their employment contract.

We did.

There were ( empty ) threats of a mass resignation among some loudmouths at union hall meetings. But, thankfully, it never happened,

Article 39 – RIGHT TO RESCIND RESIGNATION39.01 An employee who resigns shall have the right to rescind their resignation, provided that they notify their immediate supervisor in writing, with a copy to the Division Head concerned, within five (5) working days of the date on which they tendered their resignation. Upon receipt of such written notification by the employee’s supervisor, the employee shall be reinstated to their former position upon the commencement of their next scheduled shift. It is understood that such time off shall be without pay, but with seniority and benefits.
 
I'm not certain whether police in a particular town in a particular state in a foreign country would necessarily have identical contracts to non police in Canada's largest metropolitan area.
 
America’s system of rural Podunk PD is pretty badly flawed. Rife with nepotism, corruption, terrible pay, major OH&S issues… this kind of thing isn’t rare.
 
I'm not certain whether police in a particular town in a particular state in a foreign country would necessarily have identical contracts to non police in Canada's largest metropolitan area.

I'm not certain either.

Which is why I was careful in my choice of words in the very first sentence.

They might, or might not, have a "Right to Rescind Resignation" in their employment contract.

America’s system of rural Podunk PD is pretty badly flawed. Rife with nepotism, corruption, terrible pay, major OH&S issues… this kind of thing isn’t rare.

They might and might not, be able to easily "do a lateral" from one dept. to another, without too much of a background check.

Or, so I have read on the internet. :)
 
They might, or might not, have a "Right to Rescind Resignation" in their employment contract.

What would get them to rescind the resignations? A pay increase? Doesn't sound like the Mayor is really considering it.

"Since the resignations have been handed in by our police department, it has been recommended by our city attorney that at this point we need to pursue our other options," Anderson Buck said at the top of the meeting. "So, at this point, there's no reason to really talk about pay increases, since we no longer have a police force."

But there is a "contract policing" option from the County Sheriff.

What is contract policing? When a city chooses to contract for police services with the Sheriff’s Office, it hires the Sheriff to enhance the basic services already provided by the county. Essentially, the city contracts the Sheriff to become the local police department and provide a quality level of police service.

edited to add

 
Last edited:
What would get them to rescind the resignations?

Employees who rescind their resignations, "within five (5) working days of the date on which they tendered their resignation", from what I recall, generally did it because they wanted to keep their jobs.

As I said in my first sentence.

They might, or might not, have a "Right to Rescind Resignation" in their employment contract.

Never saw it happen.
But, definitely heard mass resignation, with a rescind "within five (5) working days", used as a negotiating threat by members on 12-hour shifts.

"Work to Rule" aka "Working the Rules" was another.

Sort of similar, but not the same, as the threat of a mass sick-out.

aka "Blue Flu".





 
Some additional details about the cost to have the Sheriff take over policing.




GOODHUE, Minn. — The City of Goodhue and the Goodhue County Sheriff's Office reached a tentative agreement on Wednesday for police coverage for the city from the county through 2023.

Sheriff Marty Kelly said the county's coverage for the city will almost certainly extend well into 2024 and possibly beyond.

"I’ve been waiting for this shoe to drop since I started," he said, referring to the resignations that led to the collapse of Goodhue's police department.

On Monday, the Goodhue City Council accepted the resignations of Police Chief Josh Smith and full-time Officer Anthony Brecht. Five part-time officers also resigned, leaving Goodhue without any police officers .

Smith said officer pay and recruitment were the main reasons behind his leaving.

Kelly said he pays new patrol deputies $32.51 per hour. That number, he said, is up $5 an hour after the county conducted a comparable pay study to see how county employees were paid compared to workers in similar positions in other counties.

"We were low," he said. "They were at $22 an hour. That's $10 too low."

The tentative agreement reached between the county and the city is pending the City Council's vote on Aug. 23. At that point, the city will need to decide how many hours of police coverage it wants each week from the county. That coverage comes at a rate of $55.83 per hour, which covers not only the salary of the deputy but all other costs with outfitting an officer, such as the cost of a vehicle, computer, training, uniforms, and other compensation such as health insurance and employee benefits.

"They get patrol for that price," Kelly said. "It costs a lot more than that to outfit a deputy."

Kelly said the county expects to take over police duties in Goodhue on Aug. 24. The county also provides police patrol coverage in Pine Island and Wanamingo in Goodhue County.

On Monday, City Council members Chris Schmit and Patrice O'Reilly indicated they wanted to build the city's police department back from scratch, hiring a new chief and eventually new officers.

That, Kelly said, is not a realistic goal in the current climate for law enforcement jobs.

"Realistically, if you do want to hire a chief, it'll take six to eight months before you identify anyone, get them trained and on board," he said. "They need to step up their pay if they’re going to get applicants."

Kelly said he has trouble filling his own positions. He currently has four job openings for patrol deputies and five qualified applicants. Kelly said he'd be happy if he got two new hires out of that batch once the interview process is completed and applicants — who likely have also applied at other agencies — make their decisions.

Across Minnesota, he said, enrollment in criminal justice and law enforcement programs at colleges is down 50% from before 2020 and the riots in Minneapolis after the death of George Floyd.

"New kids coming out of school — and there are few of them — get to pick where they want to work," he said.

And while the pool of new licensed peace officers is down, the rate of retirement among current officers continues unabated.

"We are robbing Peter to pay Paul," Kelly said. "Two of the last hires came from (agencies in the Twin Cities). We're not getting the fresh kids out of college."

In the meantime, Kelly said arranging for deputies to patrol another city in Goodhue County is putting additional stress on his agency.

"Our staff is stressed already," the sheriff said. "We've had a few people leave this year. We’re forcing people to work overtime. They hate it. I hate it. But we have to have the coverage."

Part of the problem is the turnover he's had in 2023. Kelly said by the end of the year, the Sheriff's Office will have 12 new patrol deputies. But there's a logjam of new deputies waiting to be trained before they can be put out on the streets.

"I’m hiring them as fast as I can, putting them over in bailiff, and training them and getting them out on the road," he said.

Kelly said he hopes Goodhue is the only city in the county that will need to contract for coverage with the county. Because right now, the shortage of law enforcement officers is impacting other towns as well.

"Cannon Falls is struggling with staffing," he added.



 
Employees who rescind their resignations, "within five (5) working days of the date on which they tendered their resignation", from what I saw, generally did it because they wanted to keep their jobs.

As I said in my first sentence.



Never saw it happen.
But, definitely heard mass resignation, with a rescind "within five (5) working days", used as a negotiating threat by members on 12-hour shifts.

"Work to Rule" aka "Working the Rules" was another.

Sort of similar, but not the same, as the threat of a mass sick-out.

aka "Blue Flu".
In Edmonton we hear the odd comment in passing about "blue flu" but nothing has come of it, nor do I think anything ever will...

(Edmonton is currently about 500 officers short, and the file strain on its members is clearly visible if you are a member of another agency & know what you're looking at. There's also quite a few members who are unhappy with the current Chief, but in my own humble opinion I think he's doing a pretty good job with the hand he's been dealt - my girlfriend agrees, and she's an EPS member)



Back on point though...if the entire police department is 1 guy and 5 part-time employees, it doesn't sound like Gotham City is going without.

$22/hr is insulting, and I don't see why anybody would want to apply for that position unless it's just to get a foot in the door.
 
I lived in Iowa about 4 hours drive this community so I am guessing it is was the same sort of policing I was use to when I lived in Iowa.

Smaller towns in Iowa and surrounding States do not pay well for police services.

The town I lived in ( they called it a city ) I would call it an over grown Village. 11 blocks wide and 7 blocks deep, around 1000 people.

They had one ( yes 1 ) police officer, he was the Chief and the patrol man and every thing else all rolled into one body.

They relied on sharing services with the County Sheriffs office for big events. When the Police chief was not able to work the night shift, he would hire a a rent a cop ( officer from another community service, or one of the guys who worked for city services for the job). You did not have to be a full time peace officer to get the job. All you needed to do was attend the State Police College, pass it and get registered as a Peace Officer and you could go on the fill in or holiday list when you could fit it in your schedule.

Police officers are not well paid ( 60 -70 K average for the Sate of Minnesota US Dollars)

According to the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for police patrol officers and detectives was $67,290 as of May 2020. The lowest 10% earned less than $39,130, and the highest 10% earned more than $113,860.Jul 29, 2021

If you're wondering how much a police officer makes in Canada, the median salary in Canada for a police officer was $87,859 in 2019 with a 17% projected 5-year wage growth.

I read somewhere the average wage for the officers who resigned was around 22 a hour. 44 hour week 52 weeks a year $50 336.00 a year.

As of Aug 10, 2023, the average hourly pay for the Brinks Armored Security jobs category in New York is $20.09 an hour.


States With the Lowest Average Salary for Patrol Officers
The lowest average salaries are in Idaho ($51,600), South Dakota ($52,700), Mississippi ($53,600), West Virginia ($54,600), and Wyoming ($54,800). US Dollars

Kind of hard to do the job with pride, be professional in todays instant news reporting, and social media knowing you are making less than other public services.

The average salary for Firefighter is US$69,186 per year in the Minnesota. The average additional cash compensation for a Firefighter in the Minnesota is US$4,597, with a range from US$3,448 - US$6,436. Salaries estimates are based on 1679 salaries submitted anonymously to Glassdoor by Firefighter employees in Minnesota.
The average Firefighter/Paramedic in Minneapolis, MN makes $69,342, 23% above the national average Firefighter/Paramedic salary of $56,230. This pay is the same as the combined average salaries of other metros San Francisco, CA, Dallas, TX and Seattle, WA. The average bonus for a Firefighter/Paramedic is $482 which represents 1% of their salary, with 100% of people reporting that they receive a bonus each year.

Hard to blame them for leaving being underpaid along with all the other stresses that come with being a ;police officer under the microscope everyday in the USA.
 
The average salary for Firefighter is US$69,186 per year in the Minnesota. The average additional cash compensation for a Firefighter in the Minnesota is US$4,597, with a range from US$3,448 - US$6,436. Salaries estimates are based on 1679 salaries submitted anonymously to Glassdoor by Firefighter employees in Minnesota.
The average Firefighter/Paramedic in Minneapolis, MN makes $69,342, 23% above the national average Firefighter/Paramedic salary of $56,230. This pay is the same as the combined average salaries of other metros San Francisco, CA, Dallas, TX and Seattle, WA. The average bonus for a Firefighter/Paramedic is $482 which represents 1% of their salary, with 100% of people reporting that they receive a bonus each year.

Interesting.

Better not go there. < smile emoji.

Except to say, from what I have read on the internet over the years, there is a common saying.

If you know one "muni" emergency service in the USA or Canada, that's what you know: One municipal emergency service.
 
Keep in mind 22$ a hour in the middle of nowhere often goes a lot farther than 32$ a hour in a metropolis. It isn’t a straight apples to apples comparison.
 
Keep in mind 22$ a hour in the middle of nowhere often goes a lot farther than 32$ a hour in a metropolis. It isn’t a straight apples to apples comparison.
If the Sheriff's deputies just outside the town limits are making $10/hour more, it doesn't matter what the cost of living is. Very few people will stick to a job when someone right beside them is make 1/3 more per hour...
 
Keep in mind 22$ a hour in the middle of nowhere often goes a lot farther than 32$ a hour in a metropolis. It isn’t a straight apples to apples comparison.

Would you say that 60 miles from Minneapolis is the middle of nowhere?

Income and Earnings
$80,104 ± $7,440
Median Household Income in Goodhue city, Minnesota
Estimate for Median Household Income in Goodhue city, Minnesota. $80,104. plus or minus $7,440

$77,720 ± $915
Median Household Income in Minnesota


Goodhue is a city in Goodhue County, Minnesota, with a population of 1,175. The total cost of housing, food, child care, transportation, health care, taxes, and other necessities for a single adult in Goodhue is $38,690 a year — greater than the annual cost of living for Minnesota of $36,459 and roughly in line with the national figure of $38,433.
 
America’s system of rural Podunk PD is pretty badly flawed. Rife with nepotism, corruption, terrible pay, major OH&S issues… this kind of thing isn’t rare.
Why?
 
Rife with nepotism, corruption, terrible pay, major OH&S issues… this kind of thing isn’t rare.

Rephrased for clarity, all credit to brihard as origninal author:
This kind of thing isn't rare because it is rife with nepotism, corruption, terrible pay, major OH&S issues.
 
I can’t say specifically why it’s the case, but there are so many horror stories of these tiny munipal services having major issues. Money and independence seem to be two common factors. Policing is expensive; when municipalities that really can’t afford it nonetheless insist on their own services, you end up with departments staffed with very poorly paid officers (which speaks to both quality and, sometimes corruption), and who can’t afford to properly equip them or train them. Officers who are hurt often have inadequate disability insurance coverage for short or long term. This is also where departments have to ‘self fund’ and you see very sketchy and exploitive use of traffic tickets with arrest/bail powers, as well as civil forfeitures that lack much due process.

On the independence side, you end up with departments that are often prevented implicitly or explicitly from investigating local corruption, from law enforcement when certain businesses or families are concerned who are connected in town, or where the local police may themselves be corrupted. Local police can be used as weapons against municipal political rivals or in pursuing private feuds. The section of local police chiefs can be blatantly nepotistic in order to serve any of the above ends.

This is by no means to say that larger services don’t also have some similar problems, but ‘micro’ forces seem to be prone to lots of really terrible issues.
 
I can’t say specifically why it’s the case, but there are so many horror stories of these tiny munipal services having major issues. Money and independence seem to be two common factors. Policing is expensive; when municipalities that really can’t afford it nonetheless insist on their own services, you end up with departments staffed with very poorly paid officers (which speaks to both quality and, sometimes corruption), and who can’t afford to properly equip them or train them. Officers who are hurt often have inadequate disability insurance coverage for short or long term. This is also where departments have to ‘self fund’ and you see very sketchy and exploitive use of traffic tickets with arrest/bail powers, as well as civil forfeitures that lack much due process.

On the independence side, you end up with departments that are often prevented implicitly or explicitly from investigating local corruption, from law enforcement when certain businesses or families are concerned who are connected in town, or where the local police may themselves be corrupted. Local police can be used as weapons against municipal political rivals or in pursuing private feuds. The section of local police chiefs can be blatantly nepotistic in order to serve any of the above ends.

This is by no means to say that larger services don’t also have some similar problems, but ‘micro’ forces seem to be prone to lots of really terrible issues.

Brihard, I was not referring to the specifics.

I was wondering why you choose to inflame a discussion by the use of casual pejoratives like Podunk. It is throwaways like that that convince supporters of Donald Trump that they are not wrong when they perceive an elitist attitude.

That town may be rife in nepotism. They may all be Episcopalians and married to their first cousins within the church. But slanging the locals straight off the top doesn't seem likely to be the best way of arguing your case. At least it is not a course of action that has worked for me.
 
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