With local cop passed over for chief, Hawley mobilizes

In small-town Minnesota, is it better to have a police chief that’s locally grown or one from out of town?

The people of Hawley and those who run the town of about 2,000 people are at odds over the question.

The city has two finalists to replace the retiring police chief. One is from Princeton, Minn., and another from Columbus, Ga., They were atop the list based on a points system that considered training, experience and whether they’re a veteran.

And then you have the local kid.

Officer Scott Steer is serving as interim chief for the second time in his career, and he’s been turned down for the full-time job.

“It’s a bit of a disappointment, but for me it’s business as usual. I love the position, I love where I’m at and the community I work for,” Steer tells the Fargo Forum.

“It’s what people want,” retired Hawley cop Tom Taylor told the paper. “They want somebody that they know. They want somebody that they feel is part of this community and this family.”

So Taylor started a Facebook page to pressure the city into hiring the local applicant.

“They’re going to make their decision and I’m going to respect that. I hope everyone else will. The guy deserves a chance — whoever is hired — to prove himself,” Steer said.

(h/t: Ann Arbor Miller)