Open positions in the police department were filled during a special Crosslake City Council meeting Friday, Sept. 3, including naming Officer Jake Maier as interim sergeant.
The council first accepted the resignation of Police Sgt. Eric Swanson, whose last day of work was Sept. 2. In a letter, Swanson said his resignation was for personal reasons.
“I want to thank the city of Crosslake for my employment throughout the years,” he wrote. “I would also like to thank Chief Lee for the incredible job he has done for the police department and for the city.”
Swanson said he’d like to stay with the city in a part-time position to help transition to a new sergeant. He served as sergeant since 2018 and was an officer in Crosslake since 1997.
"I want to thank the city of Crosslake for my employment throughout the years. I would also like to thank Chief Lee for the incredible job he has done for the police department and for the city."
— Eric Swanson, resigned as police sergeant
After discussion, council members promoted Maier to interim sergeant as of Sept. 1 at $32 per hour, and they hired part-time officer Adam Casanova as a full-time officer with a six-month probation starting at $24.35 per hour.
The council also hired Cody Haines as a part-time officer pending background investigation, physical and psychological evaluation. He’s ridden along with officers several times over the past few years, said Police Chief Erik Lee, who attended the meeting online via Zoom.
“As of right now I am not working and there is no leadership in the department,” Lee said as the council discussed making Maier the interim sergeant.
Lee said he’d be back to work the week of Sept. 6, likely on a light duty basis.
With the promotion and hirings, the department has five full-time officers.
"As of right now I am not working and there is no leadership in the department."
— Erik Lee, Crosslake police chief
Council member Marcia Seibert-Volz asked if the city should advertise both the sergeant and full-time officer positions to possibly avoid paying $10,000-$20,000 in training costs by hiring officers who already had the training.
Lee said Casanova has had training with the Pequot Lakes Police Department, where he is also a part-time officer, and some of those cited costs are for items like a holster and uniform, which he already has. He’s been a part-time officer with Crosslake since July.
No matter who is hired, they would need training with Crosslake officers, Lee said.
City Administrator Mike Lyonais explained that for more than 30 years, Crosslake has built a pool of part-time officers with the idea of getting people who want to be with the department and progress their careers with Crosslake. Then when an officer leaves, there’s a smooth transition to fill both sergeant and officer openings through available qualified candidates.
Firefighters going south
Crosslake may send firefighters to Louisiana in the wake of Hurricane Ida after receiving a request for help from that state.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Homeland Security and Emergency Management division received two separate emergency requests from the state, Fire Chief Chip Lohmiller said in a memo to the council.
The council approved Lohmiller’s requests to send one water tender truck with two firefighters for two weeks in response to one request, and no more than four firefighters for three weeks to staff existing stations and equipment for a second request.
Each request also calls for six added days for travel. Crosslake would be reimbursed for costs.
Nancy Vogt may be reached at 218-855-5877 or email@example.com. Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@PEJ_Nancy.