It is easy for us here to think that police misconduct is only a big city problem. Unfortunately, it is a serious issue in our home to. Right in Crosby an officer was recently promoted to Sergeant despite very serious concerns. Twice, that officer was involved in domestic confrontations where he was intoxicated and in possession of a gun; in one case it involved his department issued weapon. Being intoxicated in public with a gun is a crime in Minnesota. Why is this officer still on the force? Why was he promoted to Sergeant after these incidents occurred? Allowing someone like that to remain in law enforcement is a threat to everyone in the community, and an insult to the many fine officers who serve not only the City of Crosby, but all of our local communities.
NOTE: The paragraph you just read was rejected for publication by our local newspaper, the Brainerd Daily Dispatch. I respect and support local media and understand how tough their business is, but I am concerned here, that for some reason the Dispatch is afraid to talk about problems within a local police department. The incidents I referred to in this paragraph were verified at an arbitration hearing, meaning a neutral arbitrator said that they happened. I do not understand why the local paper does not want to cover this, it seems like they would rather wait until that officer hurts someone or worse, before reporting the story. We will get nowhere on law enforcement accountability until we are willing to deal with problem officers before a terrible incident happens. I hope that local media including the Dispatch become part of the solution by allowing discussion of these issues and not part of the problem by helping to cover them up.