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Silver Bay Mayor Joanne Johnson administers the oath of office to the city’s interim chief, Aaron Johnson. Ken Vogel.

SB council welcomes interim chief of police

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Ken Vogel

On April 21, the Silver Bay city council voted unanimously to accept a contract agreement that provides for the services of an interim chief of police and Mayor Joanne Johnson administered the oath of office to Aaron Johnson, presenting him with his new badge.

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Aaron Johnson’s appointment comes after an April 14 special meeting at which the council passed a motion to seek a qualified candidate from outside the department after then chief, Mitch Dow, announced his retirement from the Silver Bay Police Department. The contract with Johnson became effective April 22 and will remain effective throughout the recruitment and hiring process for a new full time chief of police.

“It is a privilege and an honor to become a member of the Silver Bay Police Department as the interim chief and to be a part of the Silver Bay public service delivery team,” Johnson said of his appointment.

Johnson, a longtime resident of Lake County is currently employed by the University of Minnesota- Duluth Police Department as a full time patrol officer. Residing in the Segog neighborhood of Two Harbors, Johnson will spend his off-duty time from the UMDPD in Silver Bay working 20 hours per week as an administrative chief. He’ll also perform patrol duties as needed.

Johnson said he enjoys working part time for smaller communities while working full time at other departments.

“While at UMDPD I have also worked, when needed, for the cities of Hoyt Lakes and Gilbert,” he said, and prior to his hire at UMD, Johnson served as an assistant chief for the Clearbrook – Gonvick Police Department in northwestern Minnesota. During that time, Johnson said he also worked part time for the Beltrami County and the Clearwater County sheriff’s offices.

Silver Bay Police Officer Chad Streiff said he feels the city made a progressive move in bringing Johnson on board.

“I believe the interim chief will promote us in a positive way and in a good direction,” he said.

Johnson said that his goal as interim chief is to initiate community policing in Silver Bay. Community policing is a philosophy that promotes a collaborative effort between law enforcement agencies and the community to develop solutions to problems and broaden trust between residents and its law enforcement agencies.

“I want to promote community policing and outreach within the Silver Bay area,” Johnson said, because “one thing we have in common is we are all from Lake County and have that small town heritage and pride.”

The Silver Bay Police Department will be hosting a bike rodeo safety event on May 7, noon – 3:15 p.m. at the Silver Bay Arena. The community is invited to come out and meet its new interim chief and police officers. The event will include an introduction to bike safety and bike etiquette for elementary school-age kids. Kids in grades K-1 will meet from 12:30–1 p.m., with grades 2-4 meeting from 1:10–2:10 p.m., followed by a meeting for kids in grades 5 -6 from 2:15–3:15 p.m. Contact the Silver Bay Recreation Departmen

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