GHT says no to plan to add more policing

The community spoke out against a plan that would have added to the township's police force, and the Township Board listened.
Alex Doty
Nov 26, 2013

"I don't think that this is needed," township resident Wally Struntz said. "We have plenty of officers around."

Struntz was one of the many attending Monday night's Township Board meeting who voiced opposition to the plan to add to the Sheriff’s Department roster.

"We are not a police state, so we don't need a police officer in every corner," he said. "That does not make us safe."

The Township Board voted unanimously to keep its police special assessment at 0.55 mill, rather than increasing it to 0.7 mill in order to fund a new sergeant to oversee the four sheriff's deputies already assigned to the township.

The township now pays for three deputies, while one is funded by a combination of funds from Grand Haven Area Public Schools (67 percent) and the township (33 percent). The township pays $361,250 for the deputies with a townshipwide special assessment.

If the board approved the increase, it would’ve brought in an extra $94,580 per year.

“Looking at any kind of tax increase at this point in time is not a good idea," township resident Russ Raymoure said. "I question not the officers asking for support, but is it really the time to do that?"

Given the nature of the economy, Raymoure said he wondered if it might be better for the township to look at the issue in several years.

While most people in the audience appeared to oppose a tax increase for a new officer, there was at least one who agreed with the plan. Township resident Karl Boersma noted that while crime does occur, the township has the resources to deal with it, unlike other nearby communities.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

Comments

TooMuch

I'm glad to see common sense prevailed.

the truth

We could lay off half of the local officers and we would still be a police state...

newspaperlawyer

I take my hat off to Trustee Larsen for asking some great questions and forcing the issues with Mr Cargo. They even have the monies in the general fund to pay for this new officer. She has asked for the TWP to look into putting this special police assessment up for a vote before the TWP voters. I don't remember the first police special assessment being brought before the tax payers.. cause it wasn't...The board voted this in due to the fact they knew the voters would likely vote this special police assessment down. This was another one of Mr Cargo's many legal opinions... But beware the GH TWP fire department will also be asking for a mileage increase next year according to Mr. Keith. It seems to me when everyone else it tightening up their budgets and cutting personnel and equipment costs its Mr. Cargo who thinks he has a open check book to spend the TWP money. I guess it appears to me that nothing has changed on this board since we elected in a couple new trustees. They all were looking for guidance from Mr Cargo. I thought the board was the authority and not the TWP manager. NO rubber stamp this time....

leatherball

The deputies presently sit for hours at a time on Lakeshore Drive doing absolutely nothing. We should get rid of some instead of adding any.

We all pay county and state taxes and should have police protection from the county and state police without having to pay extra taxes.

The boys in brown are a joke.

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