The entire police
force of a small city in Minnesota quit their jobs, NBC News reported.
The police chief
said the $22-an-hour pay gave "zero incentive" for officers to be on
The city will rely
on the sheriff's office while it seeks to rebuild the department, the mayor
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The entire police force of a small Minnesotan city
collectively resigned, potentially leaving the city of just over 1,000 people
without a functioning police department, according to officials.
NBC News reported that all employees of the Goodhue Police
Department quit their roles over pay issues, citing Mayor Ellen Anderson Buck,
speaking at a City Council meeting on Monday.
The meeting was originally scheduled to discuss salary
increases for the police department, but the mass resignation had already
occurred when it took place, NBC News reported.
Goodhue Police Chief Josh Smith submitted his resignation on
August 9, according to the Associated Press. His resignation will become
official on August 23, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
At a July 26 council meeting, Smith said that other law
enforcement agencies were trying to recruit him and his colleagues, according
to NBC News.
He said that their hourly wage of $22 was considerably lower
than the $30-per-hour minimum offered by other departments.
"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, per NBC News.
In addition to Smith, another full-time officer and
five-part time employees resigned on Friday following the news that Smith was
stepping down, AP reported.
"This is heartbreaking to us," Mayor Ellen
Anderson Buck said Monday, according to AP.
The news agency reported that the mayor said the mass exodus
of police officers came as a surprise because the council had given officers a
5% pay increase and Smith a $13,000 raise earlier this year.
Neither Buck nor Smith immediately responded to Insider's
requests for comment.
The police department will be on duty until August 24,
according to NBC News.
While efforts are made to recruit for the police department,
the council will rely on support from the Goodhue County Sheriff's Office to
police the city, AP reported.
A meeting is scheduled for next Wednesday to discuss
potential interim solutions, the mayor said, per NBC News.