Golden Valley Police Aim To Reduce Outside Help By End of Year
By the end of the year, the Golden Valley Police Department hopes to no longer have to rely on outside help to cover patrol shifts.
On Tuesday, the city swore in two new officers, Andrew Evenson and Gabriel Page. Both went through 18 weeks of field training and came through the city’s Community Service Officer program. It will bring the ranks up to 13 out of an authorized force of 31. They’ve already begun patrol duties.
To cover the shortage, the city contracts with the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office for day shifts. Golden Valley Police Chief Virgil Green says the staffing issue isn’t finding enough applicants, but rather getting them trained.
“Things are definitely finally starting to turn around. We don’t have a problem with applicants or hiring people, we just have a problem with training people,” said Green. “We just don’t have the number of trainers to get people through the training that we would typically have here in Golden Valley.”
Green says several more officers will start in the next 45 days or so with the hope of having 20 officers on staff by the end of the year.
The department is not only trying to overcome staffing challenges, but past accusations of having a “racist culture.” It’s why Green says he’s looking to diversify the agency, noting a recent meeting his department had with the Latino Peace Officers Association.
“We’re excited about what the future looks like for Golden Valley,” said Green.