(USNewsBreak.com) – Following the controversial death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis, Minnesota police in 2020, the Defund the Police movement caught on in some locales. Since then, departments around the nation have seen a significant declines in recruiting efforts. Now, one Minnesota town is grappling with the unexpected and untimely loss of its entire police force.
On Monday, August 14, the Goodhue city council scheduled a meeting to discuss pay raises for its police force. Instead, before negotiations could take place, the chief and five part-time officers all handed in their resignations. Police Chief Josh Smith resigned the previous Wednesday, August 9, with the other officers following suit two days later on August 11. As a result, the town of just over 1,000 people is suddenly without a police presence come the end of the month.
All seven members of a police department in Goodhue, Minnesota, quit their jobs last week, citing the department's $22 an hour pay. https://t.co/zXXod8SwKd
— CBS News (@CBSNews) August 17, 2023
Smith’s frustration stemmed from low pay that hindered recruiting efforts, according to NBC News. At a prior council meeting at the end of July, he said the department had received “zero applicants.” To make matters worse, larger police forces in surrounding cities were actively trying to recruit Goodhue officers. The going rate in Goodhue was reportedly $22 per hour, significantly less than other similar departments. He said the town needed to “do a dramatic change,” or they would never have another applicant.
Goodhue Mayor Ellen Anderson Buck said the sudden walkout “blindsided” her, per KARE11, but she remained adamant she would solve the issue. She said the town would rebuild its force and look into increasing officer salaries. The city council is set to meet again on August 23, by which time Anderson Buck hopes to have a temporary solution in place.
Copyright 2023, USNewsBreak.com