IN BRIEF: Concerns regarding Crystal Township police contract clarified

By Cory Smith • Last Updated 9:15 pm on Wednesday, February 08, 2017

CRYSTAL TOWNSHIP — Clearing up concerns from township officials and residents, Montcalm County Sheriff Mike Williams made an appearance Wednesday evening at the Crystal Township Board meeting to answer questions regarding a new police contract.

One month into a yearly police contract which provides a dedicated deputy to the township at a cost of $75,000 to the township, questions have been brought forth to the Sheriff’s Office regarding how many hours are spent on calls outside of the township.

According to Williams, the first month of the contract saw Deputy Greg Syrjala called outside the township for two hours out of his 150 hours worked.

Questions have come forth asking if the township should be reimbursed for hours worked outside the township by a deputy — be it emergency calls or mutual aid — which has become a larger issue after major budget cuts resulted in the cut of 11 deputies from the department in September of 2016.

But according to Williams, those situations were already considered when the contract was established, and the rate at which the township pays for a deputy by the hour is reduced to make up for those instances.

“That may not seem fair to residents of the township, to pay for those situations, and we understand that, so what we’ve down with all of our township contracts, is we do them at a subsidized rate,” he said.

Williams said the annual rate for a deputy in Montcalm County is $79,380, which is $4,380 more than what the township is paying now.

Williams added that township is also not charged for items such as vehicle repairs, gasoline or equipment purchases.

Following that information, neither members of the township board or those in attendance at the township meeting had any additional questions regarding the issue for Williams.

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