Northfield police chief takes leave after heroin flapby Dan Gunderson, Minnesota Public Radio
The Northfield police chief is taking a temporary leave of absence. The chief has been in the spotlight recently over comments he made about heroin use in Northfield.
Northfield, Minn. — Northfield Police Chief Gary Smith called a news conference July 3 to talk about what he said was a major problem with heroin use in the community.
He said then that as many as 250 current and former Northfield High School students could be involved -- some feeding heroin habits of as much as $800 a day.
In the days following that news conference, school officials and others said the chief was greatly overstating the problem. A drug counselor says she is aware of 50-60 kids in the community who use heroin, either regularly or occasionally.
Northfield city administrator Al Roder says Chief Smith requested a leave of absence, and his request was granted Monday.
Roder says data privacy law prevents him from saying why the chief requested a leave, or how long he will be away from his job.
Roder says Northfield Police Capt. Roger Schroeder will assume temporary management of the police department.