A deal with the Benton County Sheriff’s office was deemed too expensive, and a plan to hire a private security firm didn’t work out.
But on Tuesday the city council voted to re-establish its own police department and hire a part-time police chief to get things going, reports the St. Cloud Times.
Mayor Gary Gruba was the only no vote, saying: “There are a lot of issues of having our own police department. I am concerned about biting into that again. We’re jumping out of one fire into another.”
The city had disbanded its police force in 2003 but had been contracting with the county for patrol services until the agreement couldn’t be renegotiated. Even during the past few months, when there’s been no patrol agreement, the sheriff’s office has provided emergency services.
The paper said a committee will decide what a new police department should look like:
“…whether to use full- or part-time community service officers, full- or part-time licensed peace officers or full- or part-time private security community service officers. The decision to buy or lease a squad car and equipment would also be taken into consideration.”