FOREST LAKE, Minn. - The raging debate over the fate of the Forest Lake Police Department will continue for at least one more week, after the city council tabled a vote on whether to dissolve the force.
Residents filled the council chambers Monday night for hours of discussion and open-mic testimony, most objecting to the Mayor's plan to scrap the city-funded department in favor of contracting with the Washington County Sheriff's Department. The county already handles dispatch duties for Forest Lake, and those behind the plan say it would save taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.
It would also cost 20 officers their jobs, and a community part of its identity.
Nearly all of the speakers who stepped up to the podium are against dissolving the force. "Did you come tonight to have an open heart and open mind and listen to your constituent's concerns, or did you not?" one resident asked. "We elected you to represent us. We are asking that you do that now," said another, urging the council to vote no on the plan.
Tabling the matter and the expected vote on the future of the department means the council will take up the future of the Forest Lake Police Department next Monday. Stay tuned.