Gerold departure forces 2nd Precinct shake-up

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Inspector Valerie Wurster will leave her position as commander of Minneapolis’ 2nd Police Precinct, relocating to the First Precinct to replace Dep. Chief Lucy Gerold, according to a statement from Third Ward City Councilmember Diane Hofstede’s office.

Lt. Robert Skomra will serve as acting inspector to lead the 2nd Precinct, the statement said.

Gerold became the Independence Party of Minnesota’s endorsed candidate for state auditor on Saturday. She had been seeking a leave of absence from the department to campaign full time.

Wurster held the top 2nd Precinct post for just over two years—a period marked by lowered levels of police staffing and crime trends that led Wurster at an April 2006 meeting to characterize Southeast neighborhoods as being at “a tipping point.” In early June, Hofstede, Mayor R.T. Rybak and other city and University of Minnesota leaders toured Marcy-Holmes neighborhood to learn about crime problems.