Sheriff: Snyder's plan an OK start, but doesn't help Washtenaw County
Gov. Rick Snyder laid out plans to improve public safety in Detroit, Pontiac, Saginaw and Flint Wednesday, but questions remain from the sheriff about what the state will do to help Washtenaw County police agencies.
Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton said after the speech that he didn’t see how Snyder’s plans had any direct benefit to his department or to many Washtenaw County police departments.
While some measures Snyder laid out, such as an influx of 180 Michigan State Police troopers and a focus on crime prevention, will help all agencies, Clayton said Snyder should consider sending more funds to local departments in the future.
“We need more proactive policing and you need more local police officers to do things to prevent crimes from happening,” Clayton said. “It’s an OK start, but I’m hopeful that it’s one phase in a multi-phase, long-term strategy that the governor reveals as time goes by.”
Snyder focused on the four communities with the highest amount of crime in the state and rightly so, Clayton said.
Such proposals as the Michigan State Police coordinating federal, state and local law enforcement teams to work in those four cities, putting more troopers on the ground there and starting new drug courts in the counties housing those cities are meant to help reduce crime in some of the state’s most afflicted areas.
However, those measures almost put more pressure on other law enforcement agencies in the state, Clayton said.
“If you put pressure on that area and drive crime down, you’ll push the crime some where else,” Clayton said. “If you dedicated all resources in those areas, you’ll push the crime to other areas and they won’t be equipped to handle it as well.”
Many law enforcement officials from around Michigan were probably hoping to hear the governor call for a greater allocation of state dollars to local departments to hire more officers.
However, they eventually were disappointed — Snyder called for just $10 million of the state’s $25 million Economic Vitality Incentive Program to be available for a grant fund in 2012-13.
Clayton said any amount of money is appreciated, but losing 3,000 local police officers around the state during the past decade is not going to be fixed by $10 million.
“It’s still not a lot for the whole state,” he said.
Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached at email@example.com or you can follow him on Twitter.
Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 4:11 p.m.
How many officers and firemen are getting these free lunches? If they are in fact getting them. It deserves looking into. Everyone else has to pay for their own meals while working why shouldn't they have to pay?Next thing you know teachers will be wanting to have their meals paid for, and then the maintenance crews, ect.
Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 3:48 p.m.
The AAFD gets all there meals paid for while on their 24hour shift, wheres the outrage. Or do we reserve our hatred for law enforcement on these types of issues.
Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 9:49 p.m.
I think the 24 hour shift is what makes the difference, but either way your employer shouldn't have to feed you.
Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 9:25 p.m.
That is because County rules say that meals are provided to employees who work extended hours, like a 24 hour shift. They don't pay for meals for those who work a standard 8 hour shift. The outrage is about those who do not follow the County rules.
Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 2:38 p.m.
"an influx of 180 Michigan State Police troopers" I wonder how many of them will actually be dedicated to speed traps.
Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 2:03 p.m.
If Sheriff clayton spent less time "puckering up" to the Washtenaw County Commissioners and focused on keeping the County safe he wouldn't have to beg Governor Snyder for money.
Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 5:05 p.m.
There's a big difference between meeting with your boss and having a certain political agenda.
Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 3:53 p.m.
Aren't they his bosses? Isn't he legally obligated to give progress reports and updates? Are you suggesting he operate as a dictator without supervision and oversight?
Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 1:06 p.m.
Perhaps Sheriff Clayton should stop charging his lunches to the County in order to save money for his budget. His lunches and all the other lunches for the Sheriff's Department staff add up to a considerable amount of money each year and they haven't even paid attention to following the County's business rules, like getting receipts or keeping records about why the County is paying for the meal.
Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 1:52 p.m.
The entire corrections department gets free meals paid for by the tax payer. I know its not much, but my employer doesn't pay for my meals, I pack a bag lunch everyday. Why cant they?
Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 1:40 p.m.
I hope Sheriff Clayton is not misappropriating County funds. He might be next after Robert Ficano!
Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 12:58 p.m.
Sheriff Clayton, Such are the unintended consequences of central planning...