Michigan area could get a change in law enforcement

Michigan area could get a change in law enforcement
(Source: WTOL)

BEDFORD TOWNSHIP, MI (WTOL) - One way or another, change is coming to how law enforcement is handled in Bedford Township.

There was a meeting Thursday, that's been in the works for more than a year now, to see what that change could be.

There's been a lot of talk about starting a police department in Bedford Township. Currently, the area is served by the Monroe County Sheriff's Department. The meeting was held to clarify the agreement between the two parties.

Paul Pirrone, Bedford Township Supervisor is eager to put all this to rest.

"We have to understand what we have. You're talking about over a million dollars. That's the Township's money, you know, so we have to understand what we have, and the perception is when people, when you look at things they think you're, you know, starting your own police department and changing things, and all we've done is want to understand it," said Pirrone.

It was made clear at the meeting; not only is the county meeting the required hourly rate every year, they exceed it.

Some feel that their coverage still isn't enough. Others, said one reason why they choose to live here is the low taxes, and it wouldn't be worth paying for anything more than the deal they're already getting.

Robyne Bush is a resident of Bedford Township, and served diligently on the board for the Law Enforcement Committee.

"We're in a sticky situation. We're a border town. We border a very large urban area, so we need to keep our game up. One of the things we did find out though, was that we're under policed for our population, and I for sure know that a Township police would not be able to address that," said Bush.

The meeting was set to better understand the contract so the Township can make an informed decision moving forward.

Questions remain: Would it be more economical to put what the Township pays each year into their own private force? What would that mean for the fate of the officers who currently work these jobs?

One thing is for sure, a breakdown in communication has now lead to bad feelings regardless of what happens.

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