Skip to main content

Forest Lake students walk out of class to protest city scrapping police force

A petition to recall the mayor who cast the decisive vote has also been launched.
  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

Students staged a walkout on Tuesday in protest at a decision to disband the Forest Lake Police Department taken by the city council.

The council voted 3-2 on Monday to contract policing services from the Washington County Sheriff's Department, saving the city $387,000-a-year and thus scrapping its own police department.

The decision was greeted with boos from the hundreds who packed into the meeting, FOX 9 reports, and on Tuesday students from Forest Lake High School walked out of classes at 1:15 p.m. and marched on the city council chambers.

The protest group has created a Twitter account FLHS Loves FLPD, with the march streamed by the local protest group We Love Our Cops on Facebook.

A message from high school officials to parents said the protest was not sanctioned by the school, but the school wouldn't stop students from exercising their First Amendment rights.

A petition on Change.org has also been created encouraging the recall of Forest Lake Mayor Ben Winnick, who cast the decisive vote on Monday.

Just this past September, when running for mayor, Winnick wrote on Facebook: "I support FL Police, making sure they have the equipment and resources they need to keep the community safe." The post has since been removed but it still exists on search results.

Those opposing the move want the city to keep their local officers, even though contracting with Washington County will add two extra officers to the city's beat.

Winnick made a motion during the meeting that Washington County Sheriff's Office should show a preference to hiring Forest Lake PD officers to fill the positions, but this is not binding, the Star Tribune reports.

Monday's decision has to be ratified by the Washington County Board of Commissioners before it goes ahead.

Next Up

Wilf

Report: Ryan Poles is Vikings' 'top choice' for general manager

Poles was one of two finalists revealed on Friday.

Payton Willis

Willis carries shorthanded Gophers to beat Rutgers

The senior scored a career-high 32 points to end a four-game losing streak.

MARCUS ALEXANDER STEICHEN

Charges: St. Paul man had sexual contact 'multiple times' with 12-year-old girl

Marcus Steichen, 21, is charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Screen Shot 2020-08-14 at 6.45.53 PM

Charges: Mom killed infant son just weeks after getting him back from foster care

The 10-month-old died in her care in Brooklyn Park last April.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Arrests made following fentanyl bust in St. Cloud

Authorities searched two St. Cloud apartments Friday morning.

potatoes 2

Minnesota's 'frozen potato freeway' closure attracts plenty of comment

It was, let's face it, a very Minnesotan reason for a freeway closure.

Screen Shot 2022-01-21 at 9.07.54 AM

U of M fraternity raises money for chef's knee surgery

The GoFundMe has raised around $1,700 of its $5,000 goal.

unsplash restaurant cashier register COVID face mask - crop

7 restaurant, bar groups sue Minneapolis over dining vaccine mandate

"Minneapolis bars and restaurants are being used as pawns..." the lawsuit said.

Screen Shot 2022-01-22 at 7.47.53 AM

Woman fatally shot in St. Paul's North End neighborhood

It's the fourth homicide so far this year in St. Paul.

Wild

Wild flip the script, dominate Blackhawks

Ryan Hartman scored twice to earn the first game of a back-to-back.

Hopkins Basketball

Hopkins suffers rare loss to No. 1 ranked Sidwell Friends

The Royals held their own in a battle of the nation's best.

argue-wertman booking photos

Charges: 2 teens responsible for violent carjacking spree across Twin Cities

They face a combined 31 felony counts, all tied to carjackings and related crimes.

Related

Forest Lake students walk out of class to protest city scrapping police force

A petition to recall the mayor who cast the decisive vote has also been launched.

Protesters interrupt the Twin Cities Pride parade

They put the parade to a halt to read a list of demands.

Image from iOS (7)

Police tactics called into question after injuries at 3rd Precinct

Mayor Jacob Frey has requested the National Guard be brought in.

Funding woes force closure of Forest Lake elementary school

The Central Montessori School has been beset by funding cuts.

51113883716_68153add1b_k

Aggressive police response on third night of Daunte Wright protests

Law enforcement used armored vehicles, tear gas, and fired rubber bullets, but say officers were targeted with bricks and other projectiles.

Terrance Floyd, George Floyd's brother

Protests for George Floyd continue across Twin Cities

Thousands have been attending demonstrations.

Forest Lake might actually keep its police department now

Just a couple days ago the city council voted to eliminate the police department.

police tape, crime scene

Police investigating suspected murder-suicide in Forest Lake

A man and a woman were found dead on Saturday evening.