Oak Park Heights council states support for PD

The Oak Park Height City Council unanimously approved a resolution supporting its police department May 9.

The resolution referenced “recent public discussion” in some communities in Washington County regarding the provision of police services and moves to disband police forces.

According to the resolution, Oak Park Heights “desires to clarify for the public record at this time that its Police Department and its Officers provide the best value for its residents and community as a whole,” and that the city supports “strong community policing,” where officers know residents and businesses.

The resolution also says “cities and/or counties engaging in contracting certain provisions for public safety should ensure that those costs are not subsidized by other communities nor other taxpayers not party to the contract.”

Oak Park Heights’ resolution comes in the wake of a controversial May 8 vote by the Forest Lake City Council to disband its police department and instead contract for services with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. On May 10 it was reported that Forest Lake had reached a tentative agreement with its police union that would keep the department intact through 2019.