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Cloquet City Council seeks new police department study

The Cloquet City Council is seeking a new study of its police department. (Jamey Malcomb/Pine Journal)

The Cloquet City Council is pursuing a new study of the Cloquet Police Department.

The council is going to seek proposals from four or five entities, according to City Administrator Aaron Reeves, for a general study of the operations, staffing levels, culture and morale of the CPD.

Reeves said it's "good timing" for a new study, with Chief Jeffrey Palmer having been in place as the regular department head for more than a year.

Palmer was made the interim chief in March 2017 when then-Chief Steve Stracek was placed on leave while the council conducted an investigation into a "vote of no confidence" filed by the Teamsters Local 346, which represents CPD officers and sergeants.

After a lengthy investigation, Stracek was exonerated of allegations contained in the letter, but also retired as chief. Palmer's interim tag was removed in October 2017.

"It's going to be a very broad look at the department and its operations," Reeves said.

The hope is to have proposals submitted to the council by the end of March, with the council selecting the winning proposal at the April 16 meeting.

Reeves said with a study this broad, he expects it to take several months to complete.

The council also conducted a comprehensive study of the department in 2014.

Jamey Malcomb

Jamey Malcomb has been a reporter for the Pine Journal since October 2018. He previously worked as a reporter for the Lake County News-Chronicle from 2015-2018. Malcomb is a native of North Carolina and holds a bachelor's degree in English and history from the George Washington University and a master's degree in education from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. Malcomb moved to Minnesota in July 2012 and worked as a sports clerk and news assistant at the Duluth News Tribune. 

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