Police chief submits resignation

Police Chief Lou Sager has submitted his resignation as Police Chief for the City of Montgomery effective February 16, 2019, after serving in the position for just over a year.

The announcement came from City Administrator Brian Heck in an email to the Messenger.

According to Heck, Sager’s resignation and the change in department leadership will not affect the current delivery of service provided by the department.

“The council is committed to maintaining a local police department to provide the high level, professional and quality service residents expect,” Heck said.

Sager, in his letter of resignation, thanked the community for its support of the police department and for the opportunity to serve the community. He also lauded the increased professionalism and reduction in drug and criminal activity.

He said a leadership change was necessary.

“Upon reflection, he came to the conclusion that at this point in the department’s evolution, a change in leadership is necessary to continue the progress of the department in a positive direction,” Heck noted in his release.

Sager became chief on Jan. 2, 2018, for a department of then four full-time and six part-time officers. He came in the wake of disunity following the termination-changed-to resignation of former chief John Schmidt in March, 2017. The City Council discussed eliminating its police department and instead contracted with the Le Sueur County Sheriff’s Office. However, the council axed the idea after a resident survey and public outcry showed strong support for keeping a local police department.

Between Schmidt and Sager, the city had contracted with Le Sueur County Sheriff Brett Mason as interim chief. This time, Sergeant Pete Bulger will serve as acting Chief while the council goes through the process of selecting a replacement.

Sager came to Montgomery after serving as appointed sheriff in Lac qui Parle County. He spent 11 months in the rural Western Minnesota county before resigning.

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