ORLEANS TOWNSHIP — This township will continue to receive dedicated police coverage for the next three years after an agreement was recently secured with the Ionia County Sheriff’s Office.
The Orleans Township Board voted Feb. 18 to accept a three-year contract with the Ionia County Sheriff’s Office for township coverage in the form of a dedicated deputy.
The contract, which will begin March 31 and end March 31, 2017, was finalized Feb. 26 with a vote by the Ionia County Board of Commissioners.
The agreement will provide the township with 866 hours of sheriff’s office services per year for three years, at an estimated cost for the township of $111,800 for the three years.
According to Ionia County Sheriff Dale Miller, the agreement is shared with neighboring Easton Township, which recently signed a five-year agreement. Both townships have been contracted with the sheriff’s office for approximately 15 years.
Miller said Deputy Justin Laux will continue his assignment to both townships.
“Having this coverage, it’s about improving the quality of life for residents of the township,” Miller said. “Part of that quality of life is living in a safe and secure community.”
Miller said services and benefits will include special traffic needs and general overall visibility within the community. He added that extra marine coverage is provided during the summer months at Long Lake, which is within Orleans Township.
Orleans Township contains the villages of Orleans and Shiloh and serves as home to Threshold Academy, a K-5 elementary school, and is home to students who attend both Belding and Ionia public schools.
Orleans Township Supervisor Jim Patrick said the renewed agreement is an added benefit for the township.
“I think both Orleans and Easton are very pleased,” he said. “It’s a lot of money per year, half of the salary of a deputy. But the county supplies the equipment and the car.”
Patrick said there was no specific need for a dedicated deputy, but said the arrangement has worked well for many years and doesn’t see any need for it to end.
“I hope it continues in the same fashion that it has been,” he said. “It’s been a very workable situation. We’ve had nothing but good deputies. We’ve appreciated every one of them. Everybody’s been glad to have them on board. We have to budget for them, but we’re not displeased.”