PEQUOT LAKES - On the heels of firing the city's police chief, Pequot Lakes will be looking at the future of its police department.
The Pequot Lakes City Council on Tuesday approved holding a working session at a later date to take input from council members, police officers and members of the public concerning the police department.
Following that meeting, a committee of two council members, two police officers and two members of the public would be formed to look into the ideas presented at the working session.
Mayor Nancy Adams originally made a motion to have the committee do research and bring their ideas back to the council. She said it was an idea she got from a League of Minnesota Cities workshop on collaboration.
"The idea behind it was to get brainstorming of ideas people could get, what are we going to do," Adams said. "There are a lot of options we can do."
Council member Tom Ryan was opposed to the idea of the committee doing the work because he was afraid the information would be filtered when it came to the council. He said he wanted to hear from any number of people, including all police officers, on what they believe the direction of the police department should be.
Though Adams said she would like to solicit applicants for the committee, she named the police officers she'd like to ask to be on the committee. Ryan said he would first prefer to hear information as a council before it goes to a committee.
"With all due respect, Madam Mayor, I don't want you handpicking your choices for this committee," Ryan said. "I would like to hear input from maybe whole (police) department, maybe from a lot of different people in the public."
Adams said she didn't think the committee would be guiding the council but just offering recommendations that the council could vote for or against. Still, she amended her motion to include a working session before it goes to a committee.
Council member Cathy Malecha said she liked the idea of opening the discussion concerning the police department to the public.
"I think so many times they feel like they're not involved in any suggestions, any ideas," Malecha said. "I think getting input from people in the community at large would be good for the council and the city."
During this discussion, there was no mention of the ouster of Chief Jerry Braam and no mention of the reasons he was dismissed.
MATT ERICKSON may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5857.
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