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Akeley Police Chief says knocking down drug 'kingpin' is goal

Akeley Police Chief Jimmy Hansen said work to get drugs out of the community is showing results.

He shared an update on the narcotics investigation affecting the city at the Sept. 12 Akeley City Council meeting.

"Out of the arrests that happened this spring, we worked up the chain to gather some people above the people we arrested," he said. "That group gets smaller as you keep working your way up to the top to try to knock down the 'kingpin.' The second layer that we went through was a father-son team in the Laporte area that was arrested and because of that arrest, a person was arrested in Bemidji. The pipeline comes from the Metro into Bemidji back to Laporte and back to Akeley. That has all been interrupted and stopped. You always say that it's a never-ending job and that's true but, I'll say Akeley, as well as the other communities in Hubbard County, have not looked so good in many years because of the efforts of a couple of agents with the sheriff's department and our ability to stay on task and work this drug interdiction."

Hansen shared an Enterprise article about the Aug. 23 arrest of Bruce Alan Perron, 29, on charges relating to felony first-degree sales of controlled substance in Otter Tail County. Perron was taken into custody in Menahga with the help of the Menahga Police Department.

"It's a huge asset to have him held responsible for the things he's done in the communities around here," he said. "With that, we're going to still stay on task and keep doing what we're doing. Hopefully, you've never seen this person, because as part of the food chain he's getting towards the top."

In other action related to police matters, the council:

• Approved an increase of Hansen's wages to $23.61 an hour, effective Sept. 9. Police aid received from the state and other police income that was under-budgeted in the current fiscal year will be used to fund the raise.

• Discussed enforcement of the city's animal ordinance, which states dogs and cats are to be kept on a leash.

"I would like to keep the licensing," council member Bobbie Wosika said. "I'm worried about citizens in our town and aggressive dogs running around." She said only three or for people purchased licenses in the past year.

"The intent of the ordinance is to show dogs have current vaccinations," council member Dan Riggs said. Enforcing the ordinance was also encouraged.

Hansen said he takes animals without tags or licenses to the shelter in Park Rapids if they are running loose in town. He added the first question he asks residents who call in with a missing dog is if it is licensed. Licenses are available at city hall for a $5 fee. They are required for animals over six months.