It appears that the Forest Lake Police Department will not be disbanded after all.
Days after the Forest Lake City Council voted to dissolve the police force, and contract with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, the city of Forest Lake, the Forest Lake Police Department, the police union and Sheriff’s Office issued a joint press release announcing that a tentative agreement had been reached.
Forest Lake patrol officers and sergeants unions will each hold a vote on the agreement on Thursday. The agreement will be presented to the council next week.
City leaders and union representatives negotiated the agreement at the encouragement of Washington County Sheriff Dan Starry, county commissioners and city council members, the news release said.
“It is clear to me that the public values the service the Forest Lake Police Department provides,” Washington County Sheriff Starry said. “I look forward to maintaining the collaborative relationship we have with the Forest Lake Police Department.”
“This has been an extremely difficult conversation, but I have been proud of the professionalism my officers have maintained during this discussion,” Forest Lake Police Chief Richard Peterson said. “If approved, I look forward to collaborating with the City Council to provide high quality law enforcement services that meet the expectations of the Council and community. “
Preliminary feedback on the proposed resolution from the Forest Lake City Council and Mayor has been positive, the news release states. The council will vote on the agreement during a Special City Council meeting on Monday, May 15.
Due to this development, Washington County Board of Commissioners has removed their consideration of the contract law enforcement services agreement from their May 16 agenda.