Residents of a Minnesota suburb are unhappy, to put it mildly, about Monday’s decision to lose their own police department. The Forest Lake City Council cast a 3-2 vote to contract the local county’s force by September 1 and rely on the Washington County Sheriff’s Office for services instead.
When the decision was read, City Hall was packed with residents and uniformed members of their police force, and a chorus of boos and expletives were directed at the person who cast the deciding vote, Mayor Ben Winnick.
An online petition was posted the following day demanding the mayor’s removal and over 1,500 signatures were listed within a few hours.
A savings of more than $350,000 will be the end result with this move and Mayor Winnick commented, “This is an opportunity for the city and the county to work together for the mutual benefit of our residents by saving them a significant amount of money and providing increased patrol and depth of services that we, as a city, could not provide for them.”
Forest Lake will soon become the largest city in Minnesota (with a population of 19,000) without its own police department, with the current staff of 23 officers losing their jobs.
H/T: Washington Times
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