2017-05-07 / Insight

Metamora Township Police Department preps for change

Big changes are in the works for the Metamora Township Police Dept.

The Metamora Township Board in March allocated more than $700,000 in property taxes collected from its residents toward public safety to be spent next year.

The board unanimously approved the 2017-2018 budget for the township’s police and fire departments. The budget year runs April 1 through March 31.

The department’s projected budget for 2017-2018 is $502,803.70.

The largest line item in the police budget — $296,243.70 —are wages for department staff that includes four full-time officers, six part-time officers, two part-time clerks and four reserve officers. Health insurance is expected to cost the department $48,000.

The budget reflects an earmark of $33,550 for future purchases.

Police Chief Dave Mallett has said that, among other things, he anticipates the purchase of replacements for the 12-year-old Taser stun guns carried by officers.

The township board approved setting the 2017 millage rate for police operations at 2.167 that’s expected to generate $488,600. The millage rate is preliminary dependent upon if the tax roll stays unchanged following challenges made by homeowners of their property assessment.

The action came just three months after Mallett got the green light from the board to order a new 2017 Dodge Charger to replace a 2013-model Charger with more than 110,000 hard-driven miles over the township’s many dirt and gravel roads.

The new all-wheel drive police car has a price tag of more than $26,000. The dealership named was Jim Riehl’s Friendly Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram dealership in Lapeer.

Mallet had earmarked the money for the new car during his department’s annual budget process. The Metamora Township Police Dept. operates a four-vehicle fleet.

The new Dodge Charger is the second purchase in as many years from the Jim Riehl’s dealership. In late 2015, Mallett bought a 2016 Dodge Ram SSV crew cab 4x4 pickup truck at a cost of $29,012 that replaced an aging 2009 Dodge Durango that had close to 94,000 miles on it.

The pickup truck police vehicle is not rated for high-speed pursuit but is used for patrol, special details and as a support vehicle for the department.

—- Andrew Dietderich

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