Public safety to receive lift at start of new year

By: Nick Mordowanec | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published December 25, 2013

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Police and fire departments will soon receive more manpower as a result of the millage votes from November.

At the Dec. 2 council meeting, Clinton Township board members approved staffing increases in both the fire and police departments. The township’s Personnel Vacancy Review Committee made the initial recommendations to the board in November.

The fire department will recall seven firefighters from layoff, effective on Jan. 6, 2014. Those positions are budgeted.

The police department will fill 13 officer vacancies beginning on Jan. 1, 2014, with the budgeted positions determined at a rate of four to six officers per training cycle until all positions are filled.

In November, voters overwhelmingly supported the police and fire millages.

The 1.25-mill fire millage will provide funds for acquiring a new fire vehicle and other operational costs for the department, as well as additional firefighters. The 1-mill police millage will provide funds for acquiring a new police vehicle and other operational costs for the department, as well as additional police officers.

The fire millage will last a period of nine years, from 2013-2021. The police millage will last a period of seven years, from 2013-2019.

Township Supervisor Bob Cannon has consistently stated that the millage approvals are integral to the continuity and maintenance of the township. With more representatives of public safety in the community, the citizens feel safer.

Clinton Township Treasurer Bill Sowerby said that the annual cost to the owner of a home valued at $120,000 would be approximately $135 a year to pay for the millages.

“We will be hiring new police officers with the dollars due to the vacancies that there are there from the persons who retired, and the new millage dollars,” Sowerby said.

The approved recommendations for each of the township’s public safety departments involves being able to rehire those who were laid off or to find new people who fit the role of their desired positions.

“Any new hire has to go through a certain amount of training,” Sowerby said. “The purpose is to teach the new person that is hired. Firefighters that come in, they go through the fire academy, but there is continual training, as well. There’s no sense of bringing on more people ... than you can train.”