More than 2,000 Minnesota law enforcement officers could retire by end of 2025

A potential solution to Minnesota’s problems with police staffing is stalled after not making it through this year’s legislative session.

Minnesota is facing a workforce law enforcement “crisis,” and a state lawmaker told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS he has a bill, which failed in 2024, that would create an incentive for law enforcement officers to stay on the job longer.

Rep. Dan Wolgamott (DFL-St. Cloud) told KSTP he will reintroduce his bill in the next legislative session and said it should be considered a “top priority.”

“Minnesota is experiencing a law enforcement, workforce crisis that poses a direct threat to the safety and security of our communities,” said Wolgamott. “We are heading down a workforce, public safety cliff.”

Wolgamott said his bill would allow law enforcement officers statewide to start collecting retirement pay while they continue working.

“It would allow officers, who hit their retirement age at 55, they would be able to stay on the job, continue to earn their salary and be able to draw on their pension with no penalty,” said Wolgamott.

Jeff Potts, executive director of the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association, told KSTP Wolgamott’s bill could keep hundreds of officers on the job a little bit longer.

“There are a number of states that have done this before, doing exactly what we’re trying to do, which is keep people in the workforce,” said Potts. “We’re hoping we can do it before we see this clip of retirements. You know, 2,000 retirements in the next two years, there’s just not that many people in back of those positions.”

Wolgamott said his bill failed in the 2024 legislative session because this was not a budget year and the fiscal note on his proposal was $17 million annually.