Rochester Hills voters approve renewal of special police millage

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published November 20, 2023

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ROCHESTER HILLS — Voters in Rochester Hills overwhelmingly decided to renew the millages that fund police service.

The measure easily passed Nov. 7, with 15,040 yes votes and 2,584 no votes — according to unofficial results from the Oakland County Elections Division.

“This was incredibly important,” Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett said. “Of course, it didn’t raise taxes, which always helps, but I think people realize how important it is to maintain what we have here.”

The 3.4864-mill renewal is a renewal of the two previously authorized millages for police services, combining them into one millage. In the August 2012 election, Rochester Hills voters approved two police millages to fund police services — Special Police I for 1.1359 mills and Special Police II for 2.3505 mills, which total 3.4864 mills — as part of a special police ballot proposal for a period of 10 years. The two police millages were set to expire at the end of this year.

If fully levied in full, city officials estimate, the renewal will result in the authorization to collect $15.9 million for police services annually for 10 years, through 2034.

Joe Snyder, the city’s chief financial officer, said any funds generated by the special police millage can only be used for police services, for the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office Rochester Hills Division.

Rochester Hills Substation Capt. Russ Yeiser said the renewal was important for the Rochester Hills substation to maintain its current operation.

“We most definitely appreciate the support,” he said. “We have a great partnership with the city of Rochester HIlls and the citizens, and it is very much appreciated.”

The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office is contracted to provide services in Rochester Hills. Yeiser said the Rochester Hills substation staff includes 39 road patrol deputies, four school resource deputies, one community resource deputy, eight detectives, one school resource sergeant, one deputy sergeant, six patrol sergeants, two lieutenants and one captain. The Rochester Hills substation is located at 750 Barclay Circle in Rochester Hills.

“We’re the safest city in Michigan seven years in a row, and no one wants to give up that title. No one wants to go backwards,” Barnett added. “Obviously, the residents sent a very clear message about maintaining what we have and making sure that this remains a priority, and I think this is smart financial management. We took a millage that was going away and wanted to renew it, essentially combining these two millages to keep it together — so, no increases in taxes, it helps us have stability moving forward, and it was widely supported by our residents.”

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