Two officers to patrol Somerset

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published March 18, 2015

 Somerset Collection will cover the cost for an additional Troy police officer to patrol the shopping center beginning
in April.

Somerset Collection will cover the cost for an additional Troy police officer to patrol the shopping center beginning in April.

File photo by Donna Agusti

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The Troy City Council unanimously approved an agreement March 9 for two police officers to patrol Somerset Collection.

There is no cost to the city.

“This is a fully funded position through the Somerset Collection,” Troy police Lt. Chris Stout told the council.

There has been one Troy police officer assigned to Somerset Collection, funded by the Somerset Collection, since 2013.

Under the approved agreement, Somerset will now reimburse the city for the cost of two full-time police officer positions, for a total of 80 hours a week and a cost of $240,000. The additional officer is scheduled to begin assignment at Somerset Collection April 1.

To accommodate this, the Troy Police Department, now budgeted for 78 full-time officers, will request an additional position.

“We’ve had a very good result placing one officer at the Somerset Collection,” Troy Police Chief Gary Mayer said to the council. “The already low crime rate has been reduced even more.”

Troy police Sgt. Andy Breidenich said there has been a significant drop in major crimes, such as robberies and burglaries, at Somerset Collection since a Troy police officer was first assigned there in July 2013, and most of the crime there now is fraud and shoplifting.

In May 2012, a couple was robbed at gunpoint inside the retail center. Police apprehended the suspect, and recovered the gun, the victim’s purse and the shopping bag with the couple’s purchases, according to reports.  Police noted that, at that time, they could not recall another time when a gun was shown inside the shopping center. The 18-year-old Detroit man pleaded guilty to armed robbery, possession of a firearm in commission of a felony, carrying a concealed weapon, and resisting and obstructing an officer.

John Myszak, general manager for Somerset Collection, reiterated to the council that incidents were down and officers’ response time is better.

“We want to provide a safe and secure environment for anyone in the area and on our property inside and out. The addition of an officer has been very productive. … Adding another officer will only enhance that and make the area and Somerset safer and a safe place for everyone to be,” Myszak said.

“It’s pretty easy when it’s fully funded,” Mayor Dane Slater said of the request before the council. “It makes it easy for us.”

Slater said the relationship between the city and Somerset Collection has always been a good one.

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