This should turn out just fine…
Thanks to the average price for a gallon of gas sitting at $5.21 in Michigan, according to AAA, one sheriff’s office has announced it won’t be physically responding to many calls. According to reports, the Isabella County Sheriff’s Office says it will be asking deputies to address “whatever calls are acceptable” over the phone as a way to save on gas since it’s about to go over budget.
Even worse, there are several months to go before a fresh budget can be drafted, so this situation isn’t ending come the end of June. With about 3.5 months left, 96 percent of the Sheriff’s Office gas budget has been spent. With gas prices hitting record highs almost daily, the paint regular citizens as well as government agencies are experiencing is only going to worsen.
According to Isabella County Sheriff Michael Main, deputies will be managing only certain calls over the phone: "non-in-progress calls, non-life-threatening calls and calls that do not require evidence collection or documentation." In other words, he’s not instructing them to not respond during a violent situation. Still, the situation is troubling with the news sweeping the nation.
Sheriff Main further clarified: "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."
According to County Administrator Nicole Frost, some county commissioners have questioned if redrafting the county budget early is necessary. While the situation is concerning, Frost says fuel for deputies can be purchased by moving some other funds around until the new fiscal year starts in October.
For some this news still isn’t comforting as they worry public safety will suffer because of surging gas prices. After all, there’s no sign that the almost daily increases will slow down and many worry once it does, costs will be much higher than they are now. Compounding those fears further is talk of a recession and the real estate bubble popping, leaving municipalities and counties with significantly less in property taxes to cover expenses.
Source: Detroit Free Press