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Elko reinstates police force

The city council of Elko New Market reinstated the city's police department with a unanimous vote on Thursday, two weeks after a 3-2 vote in favor of its termination, the Star Tribune reported.

Nearly 200 residents from the town of 3,800 came to the council meeting to protest the initial vote that would have eliminated the department on May 13, and the council changed its decision after four hours of discussion, the Pioneer Press reported.

Council members said that personnel, as well as financial, issues factored into the initial decision. Last year, the Lakeville Police Department investigated inappropriate conduct within the Elko department, the Star Tribune reported.

The council decided to conduct personnel reviews of Sgt. Steve Malecka, who has been placed on administrative leave, and Chief Richard Jensen, the Pioneer Press reported.

The city will seek an independent evaluation of the costs of sustaining a local police force or setting a contract with the county sheriff's office, the Star Tribune reported.

Scott County Sheriff Kevin Studnicka said the council had poorly presented the decision to the Elko department and residents, the Star Tribune reported. County Commissioner Tom Wolf also expressed doubts about the council's initial decision.