2018-01-11 / News

Board approves Rich Street petition, additional police recruiting

By Timothy Mucciante

RICHFIELD TWP. — The Board of Trustees approved a special assessment for Rich Street and heard from the police chief about public safety staffing issues, Jan. 8.

The majority of Rich Street residents signed a petition requesting a special assessment for street maintenance and improvements. Rich Street is a private road, and the residents are responsible for coordinating the actual project, which includes dust control, road grading and addition of road-grade limestone.

Supervisor Joseph Madore said, “More than enough signatures were provided on the petition, almost everybody on the road signed up for it. They want to do a maintenance and grading project. They have two bids in, and it is up to them to create their own committee to choose the contractor and make the deal with the contractor, all we are going to do is be the fiduciary. We will pay those bills and add them to their taxes in the fall.”

The Rich Street resolution was passed unanimously.

In other news, township police chief Tony Craig briefed the board about open positions in his department. In general, Craig said, “The holidays came and went, nothing real major happened.” Then he told the board, “Personnel is going to be the big main topic for me this month.”

The chief explained he hired two officers in October and one was starting full time on Monday, but the other was leaving Richfield Township for another department.

According to the chief, public safety departments in mid-Michigan are recruiting officers from neighboring departments, due to a shortage of qualified law enforcement officers in the area. As a result, officers move between law enforcement agencies when better opportunities seem to be available in another department.

“The last time I checked, there were 143 police agencies posting for police officers needing to be hired. We have a mass shortage of people to hire as officers,” said Craig.

“So that leaves me another full time spot,” he said. “I did some recruiting and checked the police academies and I have a couple viable candidates that are ready to go. They are brand new, so their training time is going to be lengthy.”

When asked about the service demand on the public safety department, Craig said, “Calls have been pretty consistent. We are not spiking high or low.”

The board authorized Craig to recruit and interview another full time officer.

The next scheduled meeting for the board of trustees is Feb. 12 at 7:30 p.m.

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