Dilworth in talks to cut Police DepartmentDilworth, MN (WDAY TV) - In the last year Dilworth's police department has been swept up in a whirlwind of change, months of controversy, a resignation from the chief
By: Kay Cooley, WDAY
Dilworth, MN (WDAY TV) - In the last year Dilworth's police department has been swept up in a whirlwind of change, months of controversy, a resignation from the chief
Now, possibly eliminating the department, and instead, contracting work from the Clay County Sheriff's office.
In an effort to move on from the last 11 months of turmoil within the police department, Dilworth's city leaders want to start clean.
Chad Olson/Dilworth: “Looking at a cooperative venture.”
Bill Bergquist/Clay County Sheriff: “It's kind of the first that we've ever done.”
They are considering doing away with the police department, which is right now made up of 5 full time and 3 part time officers and contracting work from the outside.
Bergquist: “The contract that we are giving them is to take over the whole law enforcement end of it.”
It's a popular tactic in other parts of the state when it comes to saving money in small towns.
Olson: "It is second to providing high quality public safety"
But people living in Dilworth's growing community don't think it will work here.
Mario Costello/Dilworth Resident: "Community as a whole is growing, so with more people, obviously bigger work for the police force so getting rid of it would be a bad idea."
Contracting with the sheriff's office is only one option on a list of possible solutions. Another- hiring a new police chief.
Olson: “The number one responsibility that we have with our police department and public safety is to ensure that our citizen's maintain that safe quality of lifestyle. And that's exactly the number one priority.”
Both the city and sheriff's office agree that if this does happen - Public safety will not be compromised and people in town may not even notice a difference.
Bergquist: “Everybody thinks well they're a smaller city like from Moorhead and Fargo, but I think criminals consider it one big city.”
Specific details of the possible contract are still a long way down the road.