FL City Council briefed Monday on killing of 2 deer

Jan. 14 incident remains under investigation

Jennifer Mevissen
Staff Writer

The Forest Lake City Council was briefed Monday on the dispatching of two fawns on Saturday, Jan. 14 with two members of the council offering support for the actions of law enforcement.

Police Chief Rick Peterson said the department was notified via e-mail to assist conservation officers with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in carrying out orders to shoot two collared deer that were seen roaming the area of North Shore Trail.

On the morning of Jan. 14, a Forest Lake police officer nearly struck the pair while driving, according to case reports. The young deer were identified by the bright colors around their necks.

Peterson said an initial review concluded that proper procedure was followed.

“A thorough investigation continues into the matter,” he said.

Councilwoman Susan Young noted the DNR provided a letter explaining policies and their appreciation to the Forest Lake Police Department.

Capt. Greg Salo, Region 3 Enforcement Manager, wrote that this entire incident is the DNR’s responsibility and the Forest Lake officers who were involved carried out the actions at the request of the DNR.

“I have tried to make that message clear with the media, but unfortunately, the city of Forest Lake is receiving a considerable amount of negative press,” he noted.

Salo went on to recognize local law enforcement for helping with a sensitive issue.

“Sgt. Ayers and Officer DeGroot did an excellent job in bringing this incident to a quick end. They acted professionally in a situation where emotions were running high and the homeowner was acting confrontational. Captain Weiss assisted me with press interviews and provided me with information that was crucial in providing an accurate media response.”

“Finally, Chief Peterson who welcomed us into his department, provided me with a location to make media contacts, and assured CO Gutierrez and myself that our relationship with the Forest Lake Police Department is still a strong one.”

Councilwoman Susan Young said she has had experience with bovine tuberculosis.

“I can understand their concern,” she said, referring to the state agency’s concerns that the fawns could be potentially carrying diseases that would be dangerous to the deer herd population in Minnesota.

Councilman Jim DuFour said that despite the backlash, the right thing was done in regards to the deer.

  • joe

    It’s illegal for me to hunt on someone’s property without permission. But police can go shoot animals on private property without notifying the home owner? I think the DNR and police should start setting a better example. This a great example of agencies defending poor judgement and policies, rather than learning from and fixing poor policies.
    This situation could not have been handled more poorly. Shame on you city council.

    • fed up

      i know 1 of these policemen, it does not surprise me in the least at the actions they took and how it could have been handled better. fl is no place for aggressive gun happy officers…but please dont let one bad apple in the fl police paint a picture of all. he had prob. with other police forces as well from what i know. there will always be 1 or 2 that think they can do whatever they want …in every kind of group.

    • Greg

      Ever heard of live traps they are used all the time for thinning down deer and the deer are used in a responsable away if they are not fit for relocation, you donot have to shoot to kill. exspicially in residental areas. I do not think your or anyone elses life was in danger.

      • Dave Madison

        you bunch of tree huggers when some one lost control of a car and had an acident do you waqnt to pick up the tag , i live on north shore and have seen the deer in the ditch many time, cant people leave mother nature alone.

  • http://aol.com Big D

    How ludicrous for the DNR and police to defend their actions. Apologies should be flooding out of both departments. I am wondering when the Forest Lake police became under the direction of the DNR? (what happened to common sense) What if the DNR directed them to shoot my dog? Arrogance and weapons are a bad combination. The response from the FL police make me believe that I must be prepared to defend animals on my property. I am prepared to do that. The correct response would be to apologize profusely and the officers involved should be held accountable. This will not go away until that happens.

  • E. Baylor

    Yeah, I’ve heard of live traps Greg. In fact the Star Trib did a story about 6 dogs being killed in them. Also, are only the collared deer in question going to be caught in the traps? No, other deer, wildlife, dogs, possibly children would…so trapping would be worse than the unfortunate shooting.

    • fed up

      e baylor, wounder if you still would feel the same after a trigger happy attitude filled bad apple cop shoots that close to a house and a child gets shot. yes it could very easily happen thats why we have laws to prohibit shooting in and close to city limits and houses…oh but wait seems as though some are above the law. at least those to trigger happy cops think they are. all in all could have and should have been handled way better than it was and agree if we all keep up the pressure maybe those 2 officers will actually apologize and be held accountable for thier reckless actions. thank god a kid or someone else didnt get hurt.

      • F.L. Resident

        Honestly “fed up”, if you can do a better job, then why aren’t you a Forest Lake cop? Quit your bitchin! The way I see it, you are part of the problem and not part of the solution.

  • E. Baylor

    I think that my point was trapping was a poor alternative not that shooting was a good one.