Township board approved increasing sheriff’s presence

By: Julie Snyder | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published June 7, 2017

File photo


MACOMB TOWNSHIP — The Macomb Township Board of Trustees unanimously approved spending additional money to increase law enforcement presence in the community.

The decision was made during the board’s May 24 regular meeting, which was preceded by vocal support from residents during a long public comment session.

During a May 11 meeting, Sheriff Anthony Wickersham presented a proposal expressing his desire to increase his department’s presence in the township of more than 88,000 due to an increase in the population and in the business community in a very short period of time. In addition, regular crime updates from a lieutenant based in the township made the need for an increase evidently clear.

“We do have challenges and we could really use some additional resources,” he said at that meeting. Currently, there is a lieutenant, a sergeant, 22 deputies and two dispatchers, which allows for a maximum of eight cars patrolling during the day and six on midnights.

Wickersham said the increase of eight deputies would increase the township’s financial responsibility by approximately $1.17 million.

The Board of Trustees agreed to form a committee to look further into the request, and what it would mean to the township and its residents in terms of public safety and what it would mean financially.

Trustees Roger Krzeminski and Dino Bucci joined with township Clerk Kristi Pozzi and Finance Director Stacy VanReyendam to form the committee. Krzeminski explained that the committee met twice to discuss the increase and their own findings.

Pozzi said what she discovered while talking with leaders in surrounding communities was eye-opening.

“We did do statistics from the surrounding communities and it was evident that Macomb Township was lacking in sheriff manpower,” she said. “So it was an eye-opener to do the research to communicate with other communities and find out what it is they have for manpower on the streets, and I do think that the sheriff’s request was warranted.”

Krzeminski said because the sheriff’s current contract expires at the end of December 2018, he made a motion that the Board of Trustees adopt a law enforcement millage rate of 1.55 at its June 28 meeting, at which time they would also amend the sheriff’s contract.

The board also unanimously approved a request to award a $215,000 architectural services contract to Anderson, Eckstein and Westrick to design a new fire station/police station. The finished design plan will combine Macomb Township Fire Station One and the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office substation, both of which are described as being in poor condition. Both are currently adjacent to one another on 23 Mile Road.