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Police Crisis Has Reached Small-Town America

an illustration of the back of a police car with its lights on

Michael Letts By Thursday, 22 February 2024 10:58 AM EST Current | Bio | Archive

As police are continually painted as the bad guys in our flipped society nowadays, even rural residents are starting to feel the impact.

Police departments in major cities have been dealing with a shortage of police officers for a couple of years since the rise of the Black Lives Matter and Defund the Police movements. Many of the officers resigning from those large departments move on to smaller ones, but that doesn’t mean those small departments are immune from effect of politics on their jobs.

Most recently, the town of Moose Lake, Minn., joined fellow Minnesota towns of Goodhue and Morris in disbanding their police forces.

The Moose Lake City Council blamed a ballooning budget and a shrinking police force for the problem.

“Times change and this city cannot afford to have its own police department,” Council Member Greg Sarvela said before voting to contract with the Carlton County Sheriff’s Office.

One problem police forces across the nation have faced in recent years as officers have quit or resigned is increasing response times to emergency calls. With the disbanding of its police force, Moose Lake’s residents will undoubtedly see increased response times because the officers they are depending on the protect them also have a larger geographic area to cover as well has having to respond to more calls.

Beneath the surface, the police department has had troubles for a while. The five-person department was down to one officer with the others following suit with their brother and sister officers across the country and resigning.

Rather than do what was needed to support and staff it’s police force, the city council took the opportunity and did away with it.

Pioneer Press reported, “Moose Lake eliminating its police department is part of a wider statewide trend. Since 2016, 35 police departments have been dissolved across the state, according to data from the Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training.”

“What Moose Lake is going through is not uncommon for several small agencies in the state of Minnesota,” said Jim Mortenson, executive director for Law Enforcement Labor Services in Minnesota.

Some other towns that no longer have their own police forces include Kenly, N.C., and Goodman, Mo.

In Kenly, the police force resigned in support of the police chief who resigned because of a lack of support from the new town manager.

“The new manager has created an environment I do not feel we can perform our duties and services to the community,” Police Chief Josh Gibson said in a Facebook post that is now deleted or removed.

In Goodman, the police force resigned after a new mayor was elected who campaigned on dismantling the police department.

“We at Goodman Police Department refuse to work for someone who doesn’t appreciate or supports law enforcement and threatens our jobs,” said Police Chief Adam Miller. “These officers start out at $15 an hour, with no room in the budget for pay raises, and no retirement, just a LOW hourly rate. We did it for the citizens.” He added, “Our officers were stalked, tormented, slandered and harassed while making a whopping $15-$16 an hour.”

Police have now reached the breaking point. They are being asked to control crime in their jurisdictions with ever-increasing restrictions on how they can do it to the point that they are unable to do their jobs safely. And so, they resign.

Police are facing an increasingly hostile populace, at least in cities, and if they feel like they aren’t supported by elected and city officials, they aren’t remaining around to be crushed. They are leaving … leaving their jobs and leaving officials and citizens to deal with the crime they encouraged.

The media and Democrats tend to ignore these growing problems or blame it on something other than what the police themselves say the problem is.

Doing so, means things will get worse and the fewer remaining officers will be asked to continue to put their lives on the line for government officials who don’t seem to care as long as they can pander to the progressives in the city.

Michael Letts is the Founder and CEO of In-Vest USA, a national grassroots nonprofit organization helping to re-fund police by contributing thousands of bulletproof vests for police forces through educational, public relations, sponsorship, and fundraising programs. He also has over 30 years of law enforcement experience. Read More Michael Letts reports — Here.

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Most recently, the town of Moose Lake, Minn., joined fellow Minnesota towns of Goodhue and Morris in disbanding their police forces.
Thursday, 22 February 2024 10:58 AM
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