Students protest move to disband Minnesota police department

Hundreds of Forest Lake High School students have walked out of class to protest a move to disband the city’s police department.

Students walked out of the school early Tuesday afternoon to show support for the Forest Lake Police Department. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports students marched, chanted and carried handmade signs.

The City Council voted Monday to disband the department and contract with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office for police services in the eastern Minnesota city of more than 18,000 people.

Mayor Ben Winnick cast the deciding vote in the council’s 3-2 vote. Winnick says switching to Washington County would save the city $385,000 a year.

Forest Lake currently has 23 sworn officers. The mayor going with Washington County will put three more officers on the streets.