May 15, 2018

Mayor Noss called the meeting to order at 6:04 pm with all council present along with city manager Pantzke. There were a total of 30 guests at the meeting to include 19 residents, 2 nonresidents, 3 business owners, along with Sheriff Larsen, Deputy Worlie, Officer Strack, and Julie Zupko from Randall State Insurance, County Commissioner Mike LeMieur, and Tyler Jensen Morrison County Record.

Mayor Noss then turned the meeting over to Pantzke who read the following statement: Good evening, the purpose of tonight’s meeting is to discuss law enforcement in the city of Randall; a decision will not be made tonight, that decision will be made at a future regular City Council meeting. There are two options the City Council is considering, first being continue with our part time police department and secondly to contract with the Morrison County Sheriff. There has been much discussion that has led the city council to this point. The objective is to provide the best coverage and response time to the residents and business owners in Randall. The City of Randall has maintained our own police department for many years, we last had a full time department in 2010; at that point the city was spending around $110,000 per year on police coverage. When the full time Police Chief moved out of Randall and ended his employment with the city, the city council changed from a fulltime to part time police department. Doing so reduced the annual expense to around $25,000. Since then the cost has risen to approximately $50,000 annually for 15 to20 hours per week of coverage. Over the last several years it has become even more vital to make sure that all Law enforcement officers are properly trained and all records are being maintained. These tasks are currently consuming about 40% of our department’s time, leaving around 9 hours per week for patrolling and responding to incidents. Our current police chief is employed full time outside of the City of Randall making him available only nights and weekends to patrol and respond to incidents in Randall. Due to requests from residents and businesses the City hired an additional part time officer in late 2016 to give some daytime coverage, in December of 2017 that officer resigned. During the city councils December 2017 annual review with city staff our Police Chief stated that he is only available evenings and weekends, but he did know of some other officers looking for some part time work to give daytime police coverage. At the conclusion of that meeting the city council all agreed that we needed to research other options for law enforcement in the city of Randall. During this research the city learned that since 1987 over 150 cities in Minnesota have disbanded and contracted with their county sheriff. That brings the total to over 200 of Minnesota’s 853 cities that contract with another agency for law enforcement. The city of Randall then reached out to our Morrison County Sheriff to ask if they would be interested in contracting for services in Randall. In response to our request they have drafted a contract that will give the City of Randall 30 hours of coverage per month at cost of $21,600 per year, which would save the city approximately $25,000 annually. This contract would be renewed in October every year. The Randall city council has recognized the importance of routine patrolling at all hours of the day and rapid response to incidents along with 24 hour a day availability within the city limits of Randall. This contract addresses those needs. The contract has been reviewed and approved by the league of Minnesota cities and our city attorney. Tonight we have The Morrison County Sheriff here to present their contract and our Insurance agent to discuss Insurance costs and Police liability trends. We ask that you please show respect to all in attendance tonight and save your questions or comments until the Mayor opens the public comment portion of the meeting.

Mayor Noss then asked Sheriff Larsen to talk about their proposed contract. He stated that the contract included 30 hours on average per month of coverage in the city of Randall at $60 per hour. The city would continue to pay the $200 per month administrative fee to cover any work being done by the clerical staff. This would bring the annual cost to $24,000 per year. He said they would do the best they could to patrol Randall, but some of those hours would probably be between 2 and 4 am. Morrison County is very large and they have a lot of area to cover and they have to prioritize where their time is being spent.

Next Julie Zupko informed the council that insurance directly related to the police department is currently costing about $3,000 annually. She also stated that throughout the state there have been hundreds of claims against officers. None in Randall.

Next officer Strack talked about his employment with the city starting back in 2011. He referenced back to council minutes stating that he would be allowed to make his own schedule and would receive his training from the city of Little Falls at no cost to the city of Randall. He thanked the Sheriff multiple times for all they do; he also questioned the amount of time reported for administrative duties. He said that when he worked for Jerry Peterschick they decided what should be called admin.

Following this there were a few questions for the Sheriff from the council about the contract. Then the meeting was opened up for public comment. 8 Randall residents had questions or comments to include what is the speed limit in town; I like what we have now, why should we pay the county; I would like a full time cop and am willing to pay for it; If Chuck is the problem just get rid of Chuck; is this just about money; I don’t feel safe letting my children out by themselves; criminals know when Chuck is on and when he is not on; City has tried contracting in the past and it didn’t work; what about ordinances; thank you to the Sheriff for the door hangers; are there any mandates on when roads are patrolled?

There were also nonresident 3 business owners that commented to include; is this about money or coverage; do we need more hours; and would like to see better coverage; why does Chuck spend so much time in the office; why do we have to pay the county and Chuck admin; when do calls come in; sees the sheriff frequently already; Juveniles get released to soon without discipline.

Following Pantzke was asked by a guest what he thought. He responded that he never knows when Chuck is on, is going to be on, or when he was on. City staff has been instructed by Strack to forward all concerns to the Sheriff so they can start an ICR. He stated that the Motley has a budget of $184,000 for 2 full time officers, and Royalton spends $200,000 for 2 fulltime and 1 part time. The city would have to increase taxes $250 to $300 per household to cover the cost of a fulltime officer. The city is also facing about 5 million dollars of water, sewer and road projects in the years to come, where is the money going to come from?

Mayor Noss and Councilman Turner thanked everyone for coming. Meeting adjourned at 7:57 PM

Submitted By:


Matt Pantzke

City Manager