Source: Sherman Publications

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Letter to the Editor: Opposed to sheriff tax hike and village having own PD

October 10, 2012

Oakland County sheriff (Oxford Twp) wants more presence, with more boots on township turf at the expense of taxpayers. "We need more brown shirts" they say. Well, "Transparency" is the "political" name of the game these days. Let's take a look.

The March 21, 2012 issue of the Leader did a focus article on law enforcement coverage for Oxford, Twp and the approaching request for twp tax payers to crank the "mill" in November for increased county sheriff coverage. Please return us to a "status quo" coverage, they said (whatever that means), and hire two additional officers for us. I would be interested in seeing some stats and trend lines to support the needs of the twp. and I would be interested in seeing manpower usage and priorities and time spent on particular activities based on twp. crimes in Daylight and Dark and seasonal factors, week-ends vs week days and shift factors for better use of manpower.

Don't mean to sound like a micro-manager here but Sgt Patterson must know that merely driving through a sub-division is not going to stop burglaries. In my business world It's known as MBWA – Management By Walking Around. It doesn't work. Managers walk around or "cruise" around the office making personal appearances and eating up time, effort, resources and employees look busy until the boss passes. I'm questioning why we need police cars driving around (mostly for ticketing). By the way, has anyone seen fire trucks driving around the village or twp farmland looking for fires? – no, they wait for the call and respond. We pay for readiness not population counts. Use public vigilance, volunteers, auxiliary, block watch, etc. to augment police response, even administrative – clerk work help.

The Oakland Press / July 22, 2012 published per capita costs for Oakland County law enforcement based on population counts for various communities / municipalities. $114 per capita for Oxford Twp. and $271 per capita for Oxford Village. Why the difference? And then check PCC for other Oakland County municipalities. The reasonable mind would ask why not just have Oakland County Sheriff be the prevailing law enforcement entity for the county and unload all these little municipal police agencies and standardize best practices, strategies, routines, policies, procedures and accountability and then have the ability to allocate resources around the county as needed, given population or trend shifts, events, weather, etc. This strategy is reflective of doing more with less. Businesses do it all the time. Ask yourself – "Do we really need this?. Do we really need all these little badges tooting around in all these designer police cars playing Barney and jacking the public for ticket money? No! Dissolve municipal law enforcement, adopt county law enforcement coverage.

I say – cut staff, park the cars, stop burning gas, wasting resources and use our law enforcement to investigate, mediate, moderate and arrest when necessary… and get off this predatory entrapment crap… that is last century behavior, but culturally embedded in law enforcement and municipalities. It is hard to shake because it's easy money and twp. supervisors, village and city managers, mayors, of that ilk condone it, indeed invite it. It has nothing to do with traffic safety or public safety. Federal Highway Safety research supports this view. I'm not saying there are no speeders out there but I am suggesting we are frittering away a great deal of tax money in allowing this law enforcement abuse. Vote no in November for additional Oxford Twp. law enforcement staff, and lobby to have them pick up the village law enforcement needs.

Ron Dix

Oxford Township