LENAWEE COUNTY, MI (ToledoNews Now) – A disturbing trend has been noticed in Lenawee County: Residentsare getting more violent toward police officers.
Over the past threemonths, at least six people in the sheriff's department have been injured onthe job. Most of these have been minor assaults, but one road patrol officerhas been off work for a few weeks after being assaulted at the county jail, andis still recovering.
Every time an officerresponds to a call there is risk involved, but Lenawee County Sheriff JackWelsh said he's had to make more trips to the hospital to visit injuredofficers than ever before.
"It's frustrating to me,as a sheriff, to see some of these things happening," Welsh said. "The peoplethat we're dealing with seem to be more aggressive."
Welsh said the departmentis overloaded with complaints, which may be part of the problem.
"It takes longer to get aback-up to an officer," he said.
Recently, Sheriff Welshrequested more funding from the county commissioners to hire more officers, butbudgets are tight for everyone.
The other possible reasonfor the increase in aggression may be related to drugs and alcohol.
For now, Welsh said hewill work with what he has and try to come up with ways to cut down on thisscary trend.
"I don't know for sure howwe can cut down on violent acts, but there has to be a more efficient way forus to respond to complaints," he said.