Township approves adding sheriff personnel

By: Thomas Franz | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published September 30, 2015

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MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Building off the momentum of a recent report that named Macomb Township the second-safest city in Michigan with a population larger than 50,000 residents, Township Supervisor Janet Dunn made it clear during a Board of Trustees meeting Sept. 23 that she wants to be No. 1.

To help accomplish that goal, the board approved the hire of two full-time sheriff’s deputies and one full-time dispatcher who will be assigned to the Macomb Township area.

Dunn said during the meeting that traffic issues are a big reason for the additional help.

“I would like to say personally that probably 75 percent of complaints my office received is due to residents speeding in residential areas where children are playing,” Dunn said.

While reading from a letter written by Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham, a township resident, Dunn said that new housing and business construction has caused traffic issues throughout the township.

One of the new deputies will be assigned to traffic patrols to alleviate traffic concerns raised by residents, while the other hire will be assigned to a midnight shift due to an increase in reports of larceny and property crime.

“We see that the township is taking off again, which is great,” Wickersham said. “We’re forecasting into the future with good growth with population and business increase. The workload of the deputy sheriffs who are out here is increasing, and we’d like to stay ahead of the curve and be proactive and take on some of the complaints we receive.”

Wickersham said that the top city on the Munetrix Safest Cities list, Rochester Hills, which has 76,000 residents, has about 76 full-time staff out of its substation. Macomb Township is No. 2 with a lieutenant, sergeant and dispatcher, along with 20 deputies.

Munetrix is a data analysis firm based in Auburn Hills.

“We want to be No. 1. We want to be the safest community in southeast Michigan,” Wickersham said. “I think with a little more increase and a little more proactive work — the men and women working out here, they want to work out here, they love this community, they want to protect the citizens — a little more effort and support, we can move up to No. 1.”

Funding for the hires will come from the township’s general fund, not a millage. Because the township contracts with the county Sheriff’s Office, Wickersham said the township is saving funds.

“You get a full-service police department for contracting with the Sheriff’s Office, and I think that’s where they see the value there,” Wickersham said. “As the sheriff, you’re getting the most for your dollar. As a township resident, I know I’m getting the best for my dollar with the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office.”