February 22, 2017 Community news from the prairie to the lakes  
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  ‘Blue’ or ‘Brown’ it makes no difference

To the Editor,
There was a meeting on Thursday, February 16, in the Goetzinger room at the Community Building. The participation was much better than the meeting the previous week to discuss the elimination of the Elbow Lake Police Department. While the time of the event was a concern the previous week, there was a more, even larger issue presented regarding this event. The concern was in the notification to the citizens of Elbow Lake. I hope that even though the meeting was “legally” correct, it left something more that should have been done. The City Council will hopefully learn from this experience and realize that an issue this large needs additional advertising. After all, the City Council is not just buying another vehicle!

I feel the lack of communication resulted in little or no citizen response being received by the Mayor and City Council members.

That being said, the replacement of the Elbow Lake Police Department is needed and now would be the time to make the change. The City of Elbow Lake would have Sheriff Langlie and his officers responsible for enforcing not only City of Elbow Lake ordinances but also Grant County ordinances. The coverage by the Elbow Lake Police Department was scheduled for 80 hours per week. With 24/7 coverage being 168 hours, Elbow Lake is only getting about 50 percent coverage with the current officers. With the transition to the Grant County Sheriff’s Department, true 24/7 coverage would be available to the citizens of Elbow Lake.

I certainly do not want to take away from the services that were provided by Chief Sik and Officer Rude. These two individuals did an enormous positive service to all the citizens of Elbow Lake. They should be proud of the work each of them accomplished while serving in a many times understaffed department.

I was also pleased to be assured by Sheriff Langlie that Officer Rude will be absorbed by the Sheriff’s Department. Sheriff Langlie also supports that two sheriff deputies will live in Elbow Lake. This should be very beneficial to all parties involved in this change.

I hope that ALL citizens of Elbow Lake will support this change.

  Dean Horton
Elbow Lake, MN
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February 21, 2017