FOREST LAKE, Minn. (WCCO) — The Forest Lake City Council heard passionate pleas Monday night to keep the police department together. People opposed to disbanding the department packed the small council chambers. In January, the city asked the Washington County Sheriff’s Office for a proposal to provide police services.
Save FLPD. From signs and T-shirts to speakers, the message echoed throughout the room.
“We want control to remain local. We want our police to protect us,” said one woman.
Many who spoke made it clear they stand with Forest Lake police.
“This proposal ends with our city giving up 100 percent of the control to save less than 10 percent of the levied cost. It sounds like a horrible insurance commercial,” said a male business owner.
The comments were met with applause.
“It just struck a chord with me and it made me angry,” Matt Arntzen said.
Arntzen is a police officer with another department but lives in Forest Lake. He’s leading the charge to keep Forest Lake police protecting the City of Forest Lake.
“It’s all about community policing, getting closer yo your community, getting involved in your community and doing something like this is going completely the other direction,” Arntzen said.
Last week the Washington County Sheriff’s Office submitted the requested proposal to the city. Mayor Ben Winnick said the city needed to look at ways to more efficiently deliver the service.
“It is a very good proposal. It provides us with a lot of extra patrols, a lot of extra services and it comes in at a much lower price than we’re currently paying,” Winnick said.
People can learn more about the Washington County proposal at an open house on April 18 from 5-7 p.m.