The Crookston City Council met on Monday night and approved its entire consent agenda, which included extending the local emergency for COVID-19. The consent agenda also included resolutions reappointing Corky Reynolds as the City Attorney, Brady Martz & Associates as the certified public accounting firm, and designating the Crookston Times as the official newspaper for 2021.

The regular agenda included one item, a resolution accepting a donation to the Crookston Police Department from Walmart. Crookston Police Chief Paul Biermaier said the grant would go toward new recording equipment for the interview room. “We’re very grateful for a $4,500 grant that we were able to get from Walmart,” said Biermaier. “What happened and the reason for it is our recording equipment in our interview room died here several weeks ago without any warning. Those recordings are very important for our cases and investigations.”

Sometimes timing works out well, and that’s what happened when the equipment went down, explained Biermaier. “We’d already been assessing and reviewing our need for new cameras in those rooms and other cameras around the building, so we were already kind of ahead of the game,” said Biermaier. “Shortly after the equipment died, we became aware of a grant donation possibility from Walmart. Officer (Don) Rasicot did some checking on it, made a few contacts, and found out that we could. He completed the application, and within a few days, we were notified that we would get $4,500.”

The new system also has the capacity to be expanded over time. “With that money and some money that we had in the 2020 budget, we were able to secure some equipment,” said Biermaier. “With this money from the grant, we’ll not only get the equipment but the installation and some training on it. The main piece of equipment, the main computer that does all the work – we’ll be able to add several more cameras to it, and we’ll have enough storage to meet our needs for several years into the future.”

Biermaier also announced that the PD had hired a new officer, Michael Moreno, whose father, Jerry Moreno, is retired from the CPD. Moreno comes to the CPD from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. Monday was also the final City Council meeting for Finance Director Angel Weasner and the first day of employment for new Information Technology Director Chad Palm.