Moose Lake Police Department to disband, city to contract Carlton County Sheriff’s Office

Moose Lake City Council voted Wednesday, February 14, in a 3-2 vote to effectively disband their police department.

Funding the Moose Lake Police Department has become increasingly more difficult.

In 2024, 87% of Moose Lake’s budget was allotted for the police department

The city has new opted to subcontract deputies from Carlton County.

“At this time, it is my responsibility to ensure facilitation of a contract with the Carlton County Sheriff’s Office that is in the best interest of the residents of Moose Lake,” explained Moose Lake City Administrator Elissa Owens.

Carlton County Sheriff Kelly Lake explained to WDIO back in January how that would work.

“We would have four deputies that are assigned full time to the city,  just like you get now. So you would get to know them, you know, in the schools. You’d see them around the schools, you see them around businesses, you’d see them around communities,” said Carlton County Sheriff Kelly Lake. “This is not anything that is new in the state of Minnesota, having the sheriff contract for local police departments.”

According to Moose Lake City Administrator Ellissa Owens, contract negotiations between the Carlton County Sheriff’s Office and the City of Moose Lake began on Thursday. There isn’t a set timeline on when the change will be finalized. “We are filling shifts by using part-time officers from neighboring agencies”, says Owens. “With direction, I think everyone is looking to move forward and now the goal is to facilitate a contract with the Carlton County Sheriff’s Office that’s in the best interest of the residents of Moose Lake.”