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Foley goes ahead with new police department, hires interim chief

Foley goes ahead with new police department, hires interim chief Click to Enlarge Photo:

Feb 21, 2012 at 5:13 pm

FOLEY, Minn. (KNSI) - It'll soon be back on the beat for the Foley Police Department.

City council members voted 4-1 Tuesday to go foward with plans to resurrect the city's own police department following months of failed efforts to lock down other law enforcement options.

The town has had no regular police patrolling presence since December when Foley's contract with Benton County expired. Foley disbanded its police force in 2003, instead utilizing three Benton County Sheriff's Department deputies to cover the city's policing needs. The city decided to opt out of that arrangement late last year in another attempt to contain costs.

However, a service contract with private security firm General Security died last month after the State Attorney General's office expressed concern over liability issues stemming from private company employees.

Foley Mayor Dave Gruba was the lone dissenting vote Wednesday. He said issues with reviving the force could be even more problematic than going forward without a new deal in place.

Benton County sheriff's deputies still handle Foley's emergency response calls.

Hal Henning was hired to serve as the new department's interim chief. A community panel is being formed to look into whether the city should hire full or part-time community service officers or sworn and licensed police officers.

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