Police Millage Fails in Ingham County

By: Jamie Edmonds Email
By: Jamie Edmonds Email

"We don't know what's going to happen," Leslie Township Supervisor Dallas Henney said.

That is the honest truth coming directly from the Leslie Township Supervisor now that the police millage has failed.

"The general feeling in the out-county is that they pay enough in taxes for their services, they don't understand why the commissioners have done this to them," Henney said.

This budget cycle, county commissioners voted to cut road patrol service to the outlying townships to save money.

So affected townships joined together to put a millage on Tuesday's ballot to save it, but 12 out of the 13 said 'no.'

"I didn't think all of them would pass it, but I also didn't think most of them wouldn't, and that's exactly what happened," Sheriff Gene Wriggelsworth said.

Come January 1st, big changes are coming to those 12 townships, but maybe even bigger changes are coming to the Sheriffs Department itself.

"We are going to lose about eight deputies and we'll struggle to have 24-hour service," Wriggelsworth said.

Only nine deputies will remain come the first of the year. the sheriff met with staff early Wednesday to begin to work out a plan moving forward.

"Providing service is one issue, but providing it safely for our officers is another," he said.

"Things are definitely about to change, he said.

"People might come home and see their house is broken into and they won't get a patrol car for days and days.

It's a frightening scenario to many, but as Henney said, they don't have any other options.

"We've done everything we know how to do at this point so we just have to live with what we have come January first," he said.

Williamstown Township is the one and only township that passed anything at all. The treasurer tells News Ten, the full special assessment would raise about $300,000.

They've contacted all local police departments to see who they will contract with, it won't necessarily be the sheriff's office.

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  • by Kathy Location: Leslie on Nov 11, 2010 at 03:43 PM
    I voted for the millage. I don't know what people are thinking. Having been a victim of violent crime myself I will pay whatever it takes to get police protection.I think that government needs to be accountable for their spending but in the meantime I'm not willing to give up road patrols.Now people may take the law into their own hands. If I ever fall victim again I will shoot first and ask questions later
  • by Anonymous on Nov 4, 2010 at 11:15 AM
    A millage increase should have been the last resort after all possible cuts in budgets was done. These millages are getting horrible when half of your property tax bill is for special interest.
  • by anonymous on Nov 4, 2010 at 08:19 AM
    Very Good Ricardo, that's exactly what it is.
  • by Ricardo Location: Lansing on Nov 4, 2010 at 03:27 AM
    This is going to get interesting. Maybe, the people in these small townships should make the county refund the portion of their taxes that are set aside for sheriff patrols that they aren't/won't be getting. Then pool these funds for a private police department. I STILL feel this is an attempt to shake down the taxpayers for even more money for less or no service. All government employees have been grossly over paid for years! It has finally reached the point where the people are fed up and tired of footing the bill. Police and fire protection should be off from the table for reductions in service. These are the only departments that need to be available 24/7. Time to reduce wages and benefits for all of the governmental workers, and ensure public safety is left in place! Thank you. Ricardo
  • by CJ Location: Ingham Co on Nov 3, 2010 at 10:32 PM
    Since crime is on the rise all over michigan and especially in the Lansing area it will be Marshal Law now that there is no police coverage...buy your guns and deadbolts now! Don't even think the State Police will do anything extra to cover you either or take your calls as they will be on the Highways if they are even out on the road at all as most of their money comes from traffic tickets and traffic arrests. Wait until there is a school shooting or some major crime and then sit back on your $150 you saved by not voting for police coverage and then second guess yourself at the funerals.....you think crime was happening now....this county has just put a huge target on it's back and the criminals can read and watch tv so be prepared for some dark days ahead.....and.....you just put more people out of work as well that live in this community....vote approvals for garbage pickup, school books, and road repairs but leave no one to protect anyone that works or lives in the county...nice!
  • by Kelly Location: Lansing on Nov 3, 2010 at 09:31 PM
    For all of those persons who voted "no" on the police millages, do not even think to complain if you are the victim of a crime and you need a rapid police response. I cannot believe the sheer stupidity of voting against police protection.
  • by Zach Location: Eaton Rapids on Nov 3, 2010 at 09:13 PM
    I would suggest they not contract with ingham sheriff wrigglesworth since he can't manage to keep his dept open, Here in eaton county we have had no layoffs,hell they've even hired a few. Now why is Ingham County sheriff having these troubles? I would move my home and business from ingham county until the sheriff could stand up for his troops
  • by brad Location: dansville on Nov 3, 2010 at 06:29 PM
    here is a idea tell the comissioners to either cut there pay or cut there jobs and just see what happens. There own greed puts every family at risk and they just keep cashing there healthy paychecks and living the high life time to take out the trash get rid of the greedy politicians and get our state back before its bacrupt.
  • by Chris Location: Williamstown Township on Nov 3, 2010 at 06:10 PM
    Since the Sheriff's dept. is still going to make the cuts, Williamstown Township residents just threw 150.00 dollars away. Paying 150.00 dollars and ending up just the same as if you had voted no on the proposal. No rural coverage. Maybe if the Sheriff's dept didn't spend so much time on I-96 and state routes they'd have the time and money to patrol rural areas.
  • by Mr Skeptic Location: Ingham Co. on Nov 3, 2010 at 02:44 PM
    The government does not like the fact that they are no longer getting more money every year. They always cut services people need in order to get them to vote in tax increases. Like the schools cutting bussing first. I want my money from the county to stop going to things in the city like the zoo. I like the zoo, but if we can't afford police and fire, then we can't afford the zoo. I don't thing a state like Michigan needs at least three zoos that I know of. One would probably be sufficient. Maybe we will have to stop subsidizing the bus system. Make the riders pay. Maybe no more car and house repairs that are government funded. If you can't afford these items, maybe they should be sold instead of asking someone else to pay for their upkeep. I wish someone would pay all of my bills also. A safety net for truly disabled folks is fine, but it has gone way overboard.
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