Henderson Police Chief

Karl Haugen resigned from his position as Henderson police chief on Aug. 23. The city is currently in search of a replacement and is being assisted by Sibley County and Le Sueur Police Chief Bruce Kelly. (Photo courtesy of Henderson Police Department Facebook page)

The city of Henderson is in a state of transition as it searches for a new police chief. On Aug. 23, Police Chief Karl Haugen submitted a letter of immediate resignation to Mayor Paul Menne.

Haugen did not wish to comment on the details behind his resignation, but shared a Facebook comment he wrote in the wake of the news.

“Throughout this last week I have received an overwhelming amount of love and support in light of my recent resignation as Henderson Police Chief,” said Haugen. “I appreciate the community coming together in my defense, but the decision to resign was best for me and my family at this time. I encourage all Hendersonites to continue to support the Henderson Police Department, as well as City Council members, and to be patient during this transition. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.”

Haugen served as Henderson’s police chief for more than two years, taking office Jan. 1, 2017. His experience in policing dates back further, having served the city of Le Sueur for nine years prior to becoming Henderson’s chief of police.

Henderson is currently in the process of searching for a replacement. However, leadership was unable to provide an estimate for when a new chief might be hired. City Administrator Lon Berberich said he didn’t know yet how the hiring process is going to be handled.

The city is being assisted in its transition by the Sibley County Sheriff’s office and Le Sueur Police Chief Bruce Kelly, who is overseeing the Henderson Police Department’s operations for now.

“I will make sure that the Police Department is properly staffed. I will field questions from the community regarding the Police Department,” said Kelly on his duties. “In the past, I conducted background investigations on police chief applicants. Basically, I just make sure things are running well until a full-time chief can be hired.”

Kelly does not believe that taking on the position will impact Le Sueur.

“This position will be filled on my own time and will not affect the city of Le Sueur,” Kelly said.

Reach Reporter Carson Hughes at 507-931-8572.

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