Cloquet police chief resigns after being on leave since April
August 9, 2019
Cloquet Police Chief Jeff Palmer has resigned.
According to an email from city administrator Aaron Reeves, Palmer resigned effective today, Aug. 8. Reeves did not say why, but Palmer has been on voluntary paid leave since mid-April.
Patrol commander Carey Ferrell has been acting police chief since Palmer went on leave April 16, and Reeves said he expects him to continue in that role for the time being. A 25-year veteran of the department, Ferrell is one of two commanders. According to the department's policy manual, in the absence or unavailability of the chief, the order of command goes to patrol division commander (Ferrell) first, and to the investigation/administrative commander (Derek Randall) if the patrol commander is not available. Ferrell said that command structure has been in place since 2015.
The process of filling the police chief vacancy will be discussed by the council, Reeves said, but he didn't think a search or other action would begin immediately.
"I anticipate it will not begin until after the Police Study is completed as this will be an important document that potential candidates will need to be aware of," Reeves wrote.
Palmer was first appointed interim police chief in March 2017, when then police chief Steve Stracek was placed on paid administrative leave after members of the police union passed a vote of no confidence in Stracek. Palmer was appointed to the position permanently in October of 2017.