WALKER — Bruce London knows what it is like to be a police officer. He spent 30 years in that line of work, retiring from the Brainerd Police Department.
When he and his neighbors in Loon Lake Township had a problem with teen parties involving alcohol in their neighborhood this fall, he became a citizen in need of law enforcement services and called Cass County Sheriff’s Department for help.
Tuesday, he appeared before the Cass County Board to state his appreciation for the professionalism, courtesy and responsiveness he found in the sheriff’s department — from the dispatchers who took his calls to the deputies who responded more than once until the problem was bought under control.
The partiers had demolished gates on driveways and trashed the surrounding area, cut trees to deter law enforcement form reaching their party site and had trespassed on private property, London explained.
Now, the parties, trespassing and vandalism have ceased and some youths have been made accountable for their actions.
To express their appreciation, London and his neighbors Tuesday presented Sheriff Tom Burch with two pieces of surveillance equipment to use in deputy squad cars.
London’s generously appreciative neighbors include Kevin Farrell, Dick Bower, Bob Everett and Ignatius O’Shaughnessy.
Burch obtained board approval Tuesday to re-organize his department to make more positions dual functioning. The data records coordinator position was increased from Grade 18 to 21 on the county pay scale, reflecting added responsibilities. Data clerks now will all be paid at Grade 16, increasing the pay of some from Grade 13. All now will be doing the same range of work.
Prisoner transportation officers will see their pay rise from Grade 19 to 21, because they now will work interchangeably with jailers, who have been at Grade 21. One deputy will be added in 2012, specifically assigned to civil paper processing and paid at Grade 27, the same as other deputies.
Burch reported his department will receive a $5,713 Minnesota DNR grant this winter and another for next winter to help pay for snowmobile safety enforcement.
The department also will receive a $38,004 Minnesota Department of Public Safety grant to help cover costs for operating the county’s emergency services division.