Even after 2022, things tend to return to some degree of normality. However, it doesn’t seem like there will be a return to the pre-2020 state.
I was at the grocery store on a recent Sunday, and the shelves were full of popular groceries, and inventory has often been unpredictable in recent years. When I returned, I noticed empty racks and shelves that had some of my family’s favorites on them. The situation is even more difficult when it comes to obtaining . I hope 2023 will continue to improve the supply chain issues we’ve been working on.
Many companies seem to be struggling to fill vacancies. This is one factor that affects his chain of supply problems. For the first time in my life, our area has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the United States. An online news article reported that the Duluth area’s unemployment rate is the 23rd lowest among all metropolitan areas in the country. We often see long lines and reduced opening hours due to unfilled vacancies.
The number of well-paying jobs available in nearly every sector, combined with negative perceptions of law enforcement, has led to a sharp decline in the number of applicants for many public security jobs. Many public security agencies are now bleeding staff.
In 2023, it will be more important than ever to focus on recruiting, retention and competitive salaries. Because when you or your family need to call 911 and need law enforcement response, we absolutely want the best people to help. You don’t want the bottom of the barrel to help you in times of crisis.
The number one priority in the months and years ahead is securing the best talent. We have to change and adapt to the new reality of trying to recruit and retain staff. You can support this effort by encouraging good people to serve in public safety positions and by recognizing the wonderful people working every minute of every day to keep us safe.
There is also a tendency to over-rely on the criminal justice system for mental health issues. I have regularly unloaded criminals in the county jail for decades.
The lack of bed space is also affecting our hospitals. While awaiting placement in a mental health treatment center, I noticed a boy who had been in the psychiatric unit of our local hospital for about a year. It’s not a long-term place for a mentally ill person who wants to. But like prisons, they too have been at the forefront of this crisis, now doing work that was never built or intended.
Hopefully, 2023 will be the year the Legislature funds psychiatric beds and eliminates as much of the criminal justice system for those in crisis as possible. Everyone I spoke to during his one-year campaign agreed that this issue needed to be addressed more effectively by Congress.
As the new Sheriff of St. Louis County, I hope you and your family are having a safe and happy holiday season. Know that the excellent staff of local public safety agencies will be there when you need them.
Gordon Ramsay was elected as sheriff of St. Louis County in November to replace retired Ross Littman. He wrote this in an invitation for the News Opinion page of his Tribune.
1 year ago series
The News Tribune opinion page once again asked community leaders and local experts to look into the crystal ball and share what 2023 will bring. This column is part of that series.
Sunday, December 25 — Northland Economy
Monday, December 26th — Business
Tuesday, December 27 — Sightseeing
Wednesday, December 28 — City of Duluth
Thursday, December 29 — St. Louis County
Friday, December 30 — Duluth Public Schools
Saturday, December 31 — Minnesota Legislature
Sunday, January 1 — Downtown Duluth
Monday, January 2 — Public Safety
Tuesday, January 3 — DC