Fewer Deputies Dangerous for Residents and Officers

By: Rachel Thomas Email
By: Rachel Thomas Email

Calling 911 is not what is used to be. Twelve townships in Ingham County are now getting anything but immediate emergency response because of lack of funding.

"If I was hurt in this accident, and I had to wait a half hour for a cop to get here that's dangerous," said Cody Monroe, a resident of Ingham Township.

"We are going to have to go to calls based on priority of them. So some calls hold for several hours before they can be answered," said Deputy Jacob Newton.

Minor calls won't be responded to at all. The Ingham County Sheriff's Department is now down to eight deputies and four commanders.
In the past two days, the sheriff's department has had one to two patrols for 12 townships, an area of roughly 450 square miles. Those are good days, as the sheriff expects some days they'll have none.

"If you factor in sick time, and the fact that we have to guard inmates in the hospital and transport prisoners, there are days we have no deputies available," said Sheriff Gene Wriggelsworth of Ingham County.

Of the 13 townships, only one, Williamstown, passed a millage to fund law enforcement. Some residents in the dozen other townships are now thinking voters mad a mistake.

"I'm hoping they put it back on the ballot and people vote for it because we need the protection," said Joyce Salyer, a resident of Ingham Township.

Fewer deputies can also make situations more dangerous for officers needing backup. Those deputies are instructed to wait as long as it takes.

"You've go to make safety first. Our officers bleed when they get shot like everyone else," said Sheriff Wriggelsworth.

County officers and residents agree the situation will get worse before it gets better. The sheriff's office has laid off five deputies since November. It also cut clerical staff and reduced the county jail by 64 beds.

The sheriff's office currently gets its funding from property taxes pooled into the county budget. Those taxes have been slowly declining over the last several years.

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  • by R Location: Williamstown Twshp on Jan 15, 2011 at 11:49 AM
    Look at it this way. Randy Schafer acted like he was behind the Sheriff's Office 100%, but when it came down to choosing who does the patrolling up here...they didn't even consider the Sheriff's Office. True, we all voted for the millage. But, were you aware that the Township was in negotiation with Webberville to contract with the Sheriff's Office, which would have provided 24/7 coverage to us? When it came down to it, they decided to go with Meridian Township...soon enough, the Township residents will be regretting that decision, as MTPD bills us for the overtime they "didn't factor in" in the bid. Also, I'm sure the residents of Meridian will be happy to know that part of their taxes go to cover Williamstown. WAKE UP, PEOPLE!!!!
  • by Anonymous on Jan 4, 2011 at 09:06 AM
    I wonder how much of the money we think is going to pay for Police/Sheriff services is actually being eaten up by the inflated and growing retirement package obligations that the Unions have negotiated and we are now all saddled with.
  • by RT Location: Lansing on Jan 4, 2011 at 06:53 AM
    So we don't have as many cops on the roads "saving" us and "protecting" us from those evil speeders!! I, for one, don't need some cop to "protect" me...as john doe alluded to in a posting regarding possessing a CCW. I can protect me and my own. Less cops means less "revenue-inhancing" tickets for the county paid for by all those rascals on the roads going ten over. Our good Sheriff of Nottingham...er, I mean Sheriff Wrigglesworth is only concerned about his deputies bleeding when shot--not about you and me (it's time to vote him out as far as I'm concerned...his "us/the citizen" versus "them/the noble deputy' attitude needs to go). Somehow, I don't think we're gonna miss those extra cops.
  • by Jim Location: Out county on Jan 3, 2011 at 08:07 PM
    First off, I would feel better knowing we had to many officers rather than too few. I am behind law enforcement 100%. The problem lies with the county comishners funding tubeing parks and boat docks while cuting funding for law enforcement without regard to tax payers safety in out county. The biggest issue I have is Channel 10's constant reporting that out county has no police protection. Thats an advertisement for trouble. This will draw extra crime into our communitys. Comishners show no regard for out county safety by cutting law enforcement while also ruining the careers of dedicated deputys, and the media entices crime to the area. Thats responcible reporting? nahh, dont think so.
  • by john doe Location: usa on Jan 3, 2011 at 06:43 PM
    yeah yeah and if they get more money pulling over motorist, then thats where they'll be. so get your CCW and play the rest safe and hpoefully you won't need them to quick!
  • by Anonymous on Jan 3, 2011 at 03:57 PM
    It's not everybody has money. We are all trying to make it.
  • by Anonymous on Jan 3, 2011 at 03:34 PM
    Unless yo0u put iton the ballot for the increased tax millage monies to be specifically eartagged for the sheriffs department for the officers...You wont get the officers back. The county commissioners have already dealt with the deficits and they will not increase the monies to the sheriffs department, even if the taxpayers agree to a hike. Wake up people, you need it on the ballot but it needs to be on the ballot eartagged only for the monies to go to the sheriffs budget.
  • by Anonymous on Jan 3, 2011 at 03:18 PM
    Tickets = Revenue.
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