Residents trying to save Forest Lake police officer from being laid off

- Officer Max Boukal has been with the Forest Lake Police Department for two years, but this holiday season his job is once again on the line. On Monday, the city council will decide on a proposal that includes laying off Boukal and transferring his $90,000 salary to other parts of the city.

Support for officer Boukal is growing. Residents like Jennifer Wurscher have begun going door to door handing out flyers and educating families on the budget cut that’s much more than just a number.

“In the world we live in today, with all the dangers in society, the last thing we need to do right now is cut police officers,” Wurscher said.

On Facebook, the “Save Officer Max” page has nearly one thousand likes. Truth is, he’s good at what he does -- pulling over 32 impaired drivers so far this year and building a reputation as someone you can trust.

The question now is, will it be enough to keep his job?

“It’s kind of making it a difficult situation where every year it’s becoming an unknown thing where we have to keep protesting to say we want public safety to be number one,” resident Fred Langenfeld said.

Forest Lake Mayor Steve Stegner told FOX 9 layoffs are always one of the hardest things for any city administrator. He wants the police department to cut its budget by 2 percent so the city can better fund infrastructure improvements.

The mayor went on to say the city is open to the police department finding another way to make the cuts so Boukal can keep his job. The Forest Lake City Council is expected to decide on the proposal Dec. 7.

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