BE police officer faces investigation
A Blue Earth police officer has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the results of two different investigations.
After a 20 minute closed session at last Monday night’s City Council meeting, officer Todd Purvis was placed on immediate unrequested leave by a unanimous vote of the council.
The council also took a second unanimous vote, this time deciding to authorize the city staff to move forward with an investigation by an outside agency into accusations concerning Purvis.
Those specific accusations were not released.
However, Blue Earth city attorney David Frundt stated there is also an ongoing criminal investigation being conducted by the county sheriff’s office, which was confirmed by Sheriff Mike Gormley.
Gormley says it is standard procedure to have both a criminal investigation by the sheriff’s office, as well as an internal employee investigation by the city.
“Both investigations will be run independently of each other,” Gormley says.
On Monday the City Council also discussed staffing issues that will be created by losing one of its full-time officers for an unspecified time period.
“We will be short, that is for sure,” police chief Tom Fletcher told the council on Monday night. “But, we will fill the shifts as best we can, using part-timers.”
Finding enough part-timers is also an issue, Fletcher explained, as Blue
Earth has recently lost several part-time officers who have taken up working more in Winnebago and Elmore due to recent retirements in those two cities.
“We are in the process of trying to hire more part- timers now,” Fletcher told the council.
The chief added it is possible some shifts may not be able to be filled. Some of those could be in cases where two officers would normally be on duty at the same time.
However, it could also mean a late night four-hour span where no officer would be on duty.
“If that becomes the case, we would still have an officer on call,” Fletcher added.