America’s Small Towns Are Disbanding Police Forces, Citing Hiring Woes

GOODHUE, Minnesota — As Goodhue Police Chief Josh Smith struggled this summer to fill vacancies in his small department, he warned the town’s City Council that unless pay and benefits improved, finding new officers would never happen.

When nothing changed, Smith quit. So did his few remaining officers, leading the Minnesota town of 1,300 residents to shutter its police force in late August.

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