Golden Valley police chief swearing-in postponed indefinitely

The new police chief of Golden Valley can't be sworn in until he passes a licensing exam. Without his police license, he's unable to perform basic law enforcement functions.

Golden Valley's police director Virgil Green (Virgil Green/Facebook)

Golden Valley has indefinitely delayed the swearing-in ceremony of Virgil Green as police chief until he passes a licensing exam through the Minnesota POST (Peace Officer Standards and Training) Board, according to a statement released last week.

Since Green is from out of state, he’s required to complete a reciprocity licensing exam.

In March, Green accepted a conditional offer as police chief. His swearing-in ceremony was initially pushed back from June 21 to July 19.

The city then announced Tuesday that Green’s swearing-in ceremony has been indefinitely delayed “until those requirements have been successfully completed.”

“Being new to Minnesota and the Midwest, I’m working to be successful in a reciprocity exam that is much different from states where I previously served as a police executive,” Green said in a press release. “Over the past 60 days I have been working on Minnesota’s Reciprocity Licensing Exam for out-of-state law enforcement officers. Given varying state laws and other criminal code statutes, this exam requires a different type of preparation than in Oklahoma and Arkansas.”

The POST Board said anyone who does not have a peace officer license is prohibited from performing certain activities. Under state statutes, Green is prohibited from driving law enforcement vehicles or accessing government buildings that are not open to the public. He cannot direct or order another person to act or refrain from acting.

City Manager Tim Cruikshank said in a press release that Green has been leading the police department in a non-sworn capacity since his arrival, focusing on staffing and building morale within the agency.

“Both are high priorities,” Cruikshank said.

“All agencies are required to have a designated ‘Chief Law Enforcement Officer’ (CLEO), but this does not necessarily have to be the overall director of the organization. The CLEO is required to hold an active Peace Officer License,” explained Mike Meehan, the assistant executive director of the POST Board.

An individual’s scores and results on licensing exams are not public data, according to the POST Board. It is unclear whether or not Green has taken the exam yet.

In March, Alpha News reported on Green’s employment background and history of suing employers.

According to his resume, Green is a 38-year law enforcement veteran. In recent years, he has not been employed in one place for more than a few years. He served as police chief of Spencer, Okla., for just under four years before taking over as chief in the city of Helena-West Helena, Ark. He left Helena-West Helena in under two years and pursued an unsuccessful bid for office.

In 2018, Green worked as a deputy chief in the Tulsa Public Schools Campus Police Department for 13 months. Before his conditional offer from Golden Valley, Green was employed as a security manager at ASM Global.

If Green is installed as Golden Valley police chief, he will lead a department struggling to retain officers. City officials said the department is allotted 31 sworn officers, with 20 sworn peace officers currently on staff. Their duties include patrol, investigations, and command.

Of the 20 officers, two are on leave.

City officials said they have made conditional offers to sworn peace officers, and they continue to actively recruit and interview qualified candidates.

Alpha News reached out to Green, but he did not respond before publication.