Federal Funds Could Save Police Officer Positions

By: Jamie Edmonds Email
By: Jamie Edmonds Email

A budget shortfall in Jackson could change the way the police department does business.

"Thirty percent of our calls are non-emergency calls," Chief Matt Heins said. "We would have to eliminate responding to those types of calls."

Heins said the way he does the math --- $1 million less this year equals 10 fewer cops on the streets.

"In these tough economic times, we don't want to be eliminating police officers," he said. "There's a direct correlation between bad economic times and crime so if we could get additional dollars, we would take a look at it."

Enter the federal government.

An old Clinton program made new by President Obama could mean communities like Jackson get grants to keep their officers.

Congressman Mark Schauer supported this bill.

"Communities like Jackson, which has been hurt in this economy with local revenue cuts from the state cuts, desperately need these funds," Schauer said. "That's why I supported this bill, so we can avoid these cuts that make our communities dangerous."

Schauer said the bill could create 1,400 jobs for police officers in Michigan and 87 in his district.

"We applied for the COPS grant," Heins said.

Heins said he's cautiously optimistic, but will take any help he can get.

"I would take any funds that would be available," Heins said. "At this point any officer that we keep on the street is an officer than ensures the safety of our citizens."

The department should hear how much, if any, money they'll receive by this summer.

Chief Heins hasn't heard anything yet, so the department may have to cut those positions for the time being. The officers could be hired back if the city gets federal money.

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  • by CB Location: Lansing on Apr 25, 2009 at 07:02 AM
    No body wants to lose people but all the hippocrates will say they dont want to use "Taxpayers Money" to save jobs and then they will complain when jobs are lost or crime goes up
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