Michigan sheriff says police services cut due to gas prices

Michigan sheriff says police services cut due to gas prices

More calls are being handled by phone instead of in person

An Isabella County Sheriff has said that fuel prices are affecting the way his department responds to emergency calls. 

In a now-deleted Facebook post, Sheriff Michael Main wrote “We have exhausted what funds were budgeted for fuel with several months to go before the budget reset,” causing him to instruct deputies to “manage non-in-progress calls, non-life-threatening calls, [and] calls that do not require evidence collection or documentation.”

The post went on to say  “Deputies will continue to provide patrols to all areas of the county, they will respond to those calls that need to be managed in person,” and “Any call that is in progress with active suspects will involve a response by the deputies. I want to assure the community that safety is our primary goal, and we will continue to respond to those types of calls.”

Now, the county is working to raise the fuel budget by $20,000 to address the problem. The hike is now in the hands of the Isabella County Financial and Administrative Committee and, if it passes, will then move on to the County Board of Commissioners. 

The department saw a budget increase of more than $500,000 since 2020 and has not yet responded to media requests to explain how those funds are being spent. 

Currently, the average price of a gallon of gas in Isabella County is $5.05. That is above the national average of $4.97, but below Michigan’s average of $5.14. 

Michigan currently has the sixth-highest gas tax in the nation with a total of $0.64 per gallon, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has  vetoed a gas tax pause in Michigan.

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