On January 18, 2017, The City of Forest Lake began the process to receive a formal proposal from the Washington County Sheriff’s Department for contract law enforcement services. The purpose of this request is to explore the feasibility of Washington County providing law enforcement services to the City of Forest Lake and to evaluate the budgetary impact it may have.
As this process moves forward, this webpage will be used to warehouse project documents as well as provide updated timelines. Project documents can be found by clicking on the documents link below.
The documents associated with the project can be found in the folder linked below. This folder will be continually updated as this process moves forward.
The City of Forest Lake has received a copy of the proposal for Contract Law Enforcement Services from Washington County. City Staff and Chief Peterson are currently working on evaluating the proposal against the current Police Department Budget and staffing profile. It is important to note that while the current Police Department Budget is approximately $4,000,000 the net levy impact of our current staffing profile is closer to $3,200,000.
By contrast, the WCSO proposal is approximately $2,900,000. At this point, this is still a tentative figure as the proposal is still being evaluated and as a result this figure could change. Results from the evaluation, once available, will be posted here and will also be available at the upcoming open house.
- Washington County Sheriff's Proposal
- FAQ's Regarding Washington County Sheriff's Proposal (Provided by WCSO)
- January 19, 2017 Letter to Sheriff's Office formally requesting proposal for law enforcement services released.
- April 5, 2017 Copy of WCSO Proposal Received
- April 18 5-7pm Open House at Forest Lake City Center
- April 18 Virtual Open House
- May 1 Workshop to Review Proposal from Washington County Sheriff
- May 1 Consideration of Proposal from Washington County Sherriff at Forest Lake City Council Meeting
In the News
Forest Lake Times
- Forest Lake seeks proposal for sheriff's office contract (Jan 19, 2017)
- Residents pack chamber for police discussion (January 25, 2017)
- Open letter regarding contract law enforcement -Councilmember Bain (Feb. 1, 2017)
- An important conversation about public safety - Mayor Winnick (Feb 3, 2017)
- Council explores contract law enforcement guidelines (Feb 8, 2017)
- City Split on PR firm for police issue (Mar 15, 2017)
- Council protests continue (Mar 28, 2017)
- Sheriff's proposal for police coverage arrives (April 5, 2017)
- Contract Policing Proposal Arrives (April 12, 2017)
- Open house digs into police proposal details (April 19, 2017)
- May 1 could be police contract decision day (April 24, 2017)
Forest Lake Lowdown
- Forest Lake considers disbanding police to contract with county (Jan 19. 2017)
- Forest Lake citizens protest in support of police (April 7, 2017)
- Forest Lake considers disbanding police, using sheriff's office instead (Jan 19, 2017)
- Forest Lake residents push back, support keeping police (Feb 6, 2017)
- Forest Lake continues debating switching to county for police services (April 12, 2017)
- Forest Lake council may decide police department's survival or demise on Monday (April 27)
- Forest Lake Requests Proposal for Contract Law Enforcement (Jan 19, 2017)
- Forest Lake Considers Closing Police Department, Contracting with Washington County (Feb 7, 2017)
- Residents Speak Out Against Proposal to Dismantle Forest Lake Police Department (Mar 28)
- Forest Lake Mayor: Eliminating Police Department Would Save $300K (April 10, 2017)
- Forest Lake Holds Open Meeting on Eliminating Police Department (April 18, 2017)
- Forest Lake Mayor says Council Member is 'Stirring the Pot' over Decision on Police Department (April 25, 2017)
- Forest Lake residents fighting to keep police department (Feb 3, 2017)
- Forest Lake considers county takeover of police (Mar 27, 2017)
- Washington County Sheriff's Office drafts proposal for Forest Lake police services (April 5, 2017)
- Proposal to cut Forest Lake Police Dept. continues to spark debate (April 18, 2017)
- Forest Lake police willing to take pay freeze to keep department (April 25, 2017)
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I address the Council?
A:The Forest Lake City Council holds regular meetings on the second and fourth Monday of the month, with workshops taking place on the third Monday. Regular meeting are where council action are taken and workshops are more informal work sessions where no council action is taken.
For those wishing to address the council, before every regular council meeting and workshop an open forum is available for residents to speak to the council on any topic. To participate in the open forum, residents are asked to sign up on the open forum signup sheet, which is available at the meeting. We ask that residents please limit their comments to 3 minutes.