Breezy Point has a new police chief.

In its Monday, June 7, meeting, the Breezy Point City Council voted unanimously to promote Sgt. Brian Sandell to chief of the Breezy Point Police Department, effective immediately.

“I love working in Breezy Point,” Sandell said. “We have a wonderful community. We've had wonderful leadership, both in the police department and the city council. I've been very privileged to work in Breezy Point, and it has treated me very well.”

Former Chief Kevin Merschman informed the council that he would retire sometime in 2021, and the council decided Sandell - who has served as a Breezy Point officer for 22 years and as a sergeant for roughly 11 years - would be an ideal fit for the role of chief. Prior to joining the Breezy Point Police Department in 1999, Sandell spent time as an officer in Pine River, Hinckley and Pequot Lakes.

Merschman has agreed to remain on to assist Sandell until he officially retires, and will remain at his current rate of pay and work schedule.

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The sergeant position Sandell vacated shall remain vacant until Merschman’s retirement.

“I look forward to leading this department, a department that I think is top-notch,” Sandell said. “It'll be an honor to be a leader of a team like this.”

Additionally, the council appointed Nate Peters as a full-time officer/paramedic, effective July 20.

“I want to continue the tradition of having professional, friendly officers respond to calls, and the paramedic program is a big portion of that,” Sandell said. “We are going to be adding more paramedics - we will have four police officer/paramedics soon … The program is a great benefit to the community and its guests.”

In other action Monday, June 7, the council:

  • Agreed to purchase new radio equipment for the police department, as its current equipment is no longer supported by the manufacturer. The cost for the equipment is $64,617.55, using federal funds.

  • Adopted a resolution declaring the end to the local emergency adopted in April 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Accepted a bid of $15,700 from Lot Pros Inc. to crack seal several city roads.

Dan Determan may be reached at 218-855-5879 or dan.determan@pineandlakes.com. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@PEJ_Dan.