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Gov Walz Holds New Ulm Roundtable On Public Safety Funding

Governor Tim Walz & Lt Gov Peggy Flanagan held a roundtable discussion with city leaders at the New Ulm Fire Station – March 23, 2022

Governor Tim Walz sat down with local law enforcement and city officials Tuesday in New Ulm to discuss his $300 million public safety plan. Many of the discussions centered around mental health issues.

Mankato Department of Public Safety Director Amy Vokal stated officers are currently transporting people in a mental health crisis to South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Fargo.

Vokal also spoke of the need for a Bureau of Criminal Apprehension facility in southern Minnesota. She said smaller agencies that rely on the agency are traveling three hours to the BCA. She shared her vision of a centrally-located facility with digital and computer forensics exams, and advanced cell phone technology tools. Tools, she says, that Mankato or other communities can’t afford.

Public safety officials also voiced the need for local control of the funding. Officer hiring, retention, and morale were also a concern. In addition, city officials identified elder abuse, homelessness, and sex trafficking as community issues.

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