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Nevis disbands police department

Nevis marked an historical moment this week, the council disbanding the city police department.

A constable has served the village for more than half a century.

The move came as a cost-saving measure, with an anticipated $18,000 trimmed from the city budget.

"It was a difficult cut," Paul Schroeder said of eliminating police chief Ed Franckowiak's part-time position. "We appreciate what Ed has done for the community."

"He always stepped up to the plate for us," clerk-treasurer Carol Fridgen agreed.

Deputy Jeff Stacey, who began serving the city as the chief officer more than a year ago, reported the county will cover the shifts currently assigned to Franckowiak.

A motion by mayor Dave McCurnin to disband effective Dec. 1 died for lack of a second. An amended motion by Schroeder to disband Dec. 1 if paperwork is complete met council approval.

Paul Monteen of the Minnesota POST (Peace Officers Standards and Training) Commission reports 15 agencies have disbanded in Minnesota in the past three years. While this includes a variety of law enforcement agencies, he said the majority of dissolutions have been one- and two-person police departments.

Fridgen, checking council minutes from days of yore, found a motion to appoint a village constable in 1953.

The minutes from another meeting stated a switch would be installed under the bar in the municipal liquor store with a red light on the building's exterior. In the event of unruly clientele, the light would alert the constable.