Here’s a question for everyone out there: Are 6 cops better than none? As a parent I find the answer to the question to be pretty obvious, but some of our elected officials at the County don’t seem to think so.
At their 12/8 meeting the commissioners managed to find $780,000 to fund our road patrol. This funding was then pulled back on 12/10. There were two main reasons cited for this decision:
- It would be financially irresponsible to do this.
- The Sheriffs department couldn’t provide an adequate road patrol at these levels.
Let’s dissect these two reasons below:
Reason 1: It would be financially irresponsible to do this.
The approved budget for 2015 results in:
- A total General Fund Profit of $100,000. In other words the commissioners have budgeted to spend $100,000 LESS than they will make this year.
- We are only taking $451,530 from the Delinquent Tax Revolving Fund (DTRF). This fund Averages $765,000/year in PROFIT. This means that the county is on track to make a profit of $313,000 from the DTRF.
- The county is underestimating their property tax income by about $125,000, despite increases in taxable value based on increasing property values.
In other words in 2015 the county is estimated to make $538,000 in PROFIT while we go without county police protection. Again-that’s profit and depletes no savings fund. We have over $3 million dollars in the DTRF that we could use to fund this county without any serious impact to our financial state. 4-5 Cops could be put on the road just based on PROFIT.
Overall Conclusion: Myth Busted. We could easily handle $780,000/year in Road Patrol funding for the next 5 years.
Reason 2: The Sheriffs department would not be able to provide an adequate road patrol at these levels.
This is where things get interesting. I’ve heard two reasons given for this:
-If we can’t have deputies on all shifts, why bother? Granted this is pathetic level of coverage, but I go back to my original statement: 2 cops are better than 1, 1 cop is better than none. When someone is trying to break into your house at 3AM you might really appreciate having that extra officer on duty. When someone is trying to steal your child, you will appreciate it as well. Many towns in Shiawassee county do not have deputies on all shifts, but seem to be okay with that because anything helps.
-It’s not safe for a deputy to be out there all alone. So, let me get this straight-it’s alright for my child to be without county police protection of any kind, but it’s not safe for a deputy to be on patrol all alone? My child hasn’t gone through years of police training, they don’t care a tazer, gun, or pepper spray. They’re just little defenseless kids. Ask the deputies if they would rather be unemployed, or out there alone? I know what their answer will be. This is nothing but an excuse, and it’s a pathetic one at that. Does the Lennon police officer refuse to do his/her job because they are unsafe? Nope. How about the Alaska State Troopers? They can literally be the only officer within 100 miles.
Websters dictionary defines Anarchy as behavior that is “not controlled by rule or law“. The (only) nice thing about Anarchy is that you don’t have to pay taxes for it. So, why am I paying for government and getting Anarchy? What are my tax dollars going towards that could possibly be more important that persevering law and order in our County?
Overall Conclusion: Myth Busted
To all our elected officials in Shiawassee County who are playing games with the Safety Of Our Children-Know this: We will not vote for another millage until you are ALL UNEMPLOYED. Do the right thing and get some cops on the road. That is the one way to guarantee that your pensions and healthcare stay safe.
County Officials: If you were wise, you would bring this entire issue in front of the public. If an elected official is causing the problem, call them out on it in your public meetings. Only discuss this issue in public-no more backdoor meetings. Politics has no place in this discussion.