Sheriff to oversee Montgomery Police Dept.

In the wake of the termination of former police chief John Schmidt on March 30, the City of Montgomery has taken steps to continue the supervision of its police department by enlisting the help from the county.  
On Tuesday, April 4, the Le Sueur County Sheriff’s Office was approved by the County Board to provide “full supervision of the Montgomery Police Department”  in the form of a CLEO or Chief Law Enforcement Officer. The approval came in the form of a contract where the city would reimburse the sheriff’s department $50 per hour on a full-time basis for three months, 480 hours ($24,000). 
Chief Deputy Brett Mason, who will take over when Sheriff Dave Tietz retires on April 28, told the commissioners there are concerns in Montgomery.
“We are aware there are some serious concerns in that municipality, and this is going to be a lot of work, but the (county) staff is prepared to take this on. We are fully committed to the project,” he said. “I am confident that we will be able to step in there and be able to turn that city around. I believe the citizens of that municipality are going to be very happy.”
Tietz emphasized to the commissioners that it was the City of Montgomery that had approached the county for assistance and that he was not about to turn his back on them.
“I can’t emphasize this enough. They came to us for assistance,” he said. “We’re going to help them out and give them great service for this three-month period.”
Mason added that he and Tietz have had several discussions with City Administrator Brian Heck and Mayor John Grimm about the issues, but he did not elaborate what those were at the meeting.
“They have some issues in their city regarding law enforcement,” Mason said.
At the end of the contract, Tietz and Mason said the city has two options: search for a new police chief or extend the contract with the county.
The contract still needs to be approved by the Montgomery City Council.
Other business
The county also approved the 2017 county boat and water safety agreement with the MN Department of Natural Resources for a total of $10,534. This is an annual application. 
The board also approved the mill and overlay project with MnDOT for Highway 99 from Cleveland to St. Peter. The project will start in August, 2017 and will not feature any detours.
Next meeting
The next meeting of the county board will be on April 18 at the 4-H Center.

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