Few answers about Brownsdale police chief, but hope for the meantime

Published 10:50 am Tuesday, October 8, 2013

City council goers were eager to hear more Monday night about why Brownsdale’s police chief has been on administrative leave, but they left the meeting with the same questions.

Brownsdale City Council members and Mayor Dave Pike have been unable to speak about Police Chief Jason Mindrup’s employment status as they wait for the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to finish its investigation. Mindrup was placed on leave after the Sept. 3 city council meeting’s closed session.

“We are awaiting results,” Pike said, who isn’t sure when the investigation will be complete. “The investigation is being conducted.”

But Pike offered an update of different sorts. Brownsdale will likely get a temporary, part-time police officer to help fill the void. Council members approved a motion to meet with a law enforcement officer from a neighboring jurisdiction and offer him or her $16.50 per hour. Pike would not release the potential officer’s name.

In the meantime, Pike assured the public the Mower County Sheriff’s Office is patrolling Brownsdale. If and when a part-time hire is made, the new officer will spend much of his or her time resolving ongoing parking issues and complaints from residents, he added.

The city of Brownsdale, which is also sitting on a new police cruiser, voted to spend $5,000 toward software upgrades that will align the city with Mower County’s software updates projected to be ready in January 2014.

The council also has plenty of interest in its vacant seat, which opened after Aronn Oakland submitted his resignation at the Sept. 3 meeting to pursue a job promotion. Five candidates, Carol Larick, Brad Peterson, David Streightiff, Paul Fischer and Evonne Godbout, all issued letters of interest to fill the position.

The council, following state statute, will select one member to fill the spot until next year’s elections, when a special election will be held for that seat. A question-answer session for the candidates has been set for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15, at Brownsdale’s council chambers.