The City of Wayzata will be retaining its 11th police officer, after originally planning to eliminate one due to the budget deficit. With the departure of the remaining community service officer (CSO), however, the Police Chief Mike Risvold has recommended to not hire a new CSO and retain the police officer instead.
“One of the community service officers is taking another job so we’re electing to not fill that position,” City Manager Al Orsen said.
Wayzata Mayor Ken Willcox said CSOs do more administrative duties and do not have the policing power that an officer does.
Willcox said one of the more compelling reasons to keep the 11th officer was that if one officer gets in trouble, another can come to his assistance.
According to Willcox, Wayzata has the highest number of police officers per capita in the Lake Minnetonka area, but that the population swells during the day because of people coming to work and shop and Interstate 394 going right through town.
“Our policing demands are much higher than other towns in the area,” Willcox said.
The Wayzata City Council implemented the budget cuts at the May 5, meeting in response to the estimated $311,000 deficit the City is expected to have. The cuts bring the expected deficit to just under $100,000.
Among the cuts were also suspending publication of the Bay Window, cutting the number of WCTV programs, reducing the number of flower gardens, reducing the hours of lifeguards, the building inspector and engineer and cutting the positions of two seasonal gardeners.