REPORT: High gas prices force police to handle incidents over the phone
The sheriff's office for the county in which Central Michigan University is located will handle more incidents over the phone due to rising gas prices.
CMU student and College Republicans Vice-President Evan Gibeau told Campus Reform that while it's not an ideal decision, it was a 'necessary choice.'
The sheriff's office for the county in which Central Michigan University (CMU) is located will handle more incidents over the phone due to rising gas prices.
Isabella County Sheriff Michael Main announced the decision in a June 7 Facebook post. According to Main, deputies will respond to non-emergency calls by phone to limit the amount spent on gas.
"Isabella County Sheriff's Office is feeling the pain at the pump as well," Main stated, according to the Detroit Metro Times. "We have exhausted what funds were budgeted for fuel with several months to go before the budget resets."
Cases that are in progress, life-threatening, or involve evidence collection will be excluded.
"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," Main confirmed. "I want to assure the community that safety is our primary goal, and we will continue to respond to those type of calls."
CMU's Police Department has 20 officers that "work collaboratively" with local law enforcement including the Isabella County Sheriff's Department.
CMU student and College Republicans Vice-President Evan Gibeau told Campus Reform that while it's not an ideal decision, it was a "necessary choice."
"I'm sure they'd like to respond to every call they can in person," Gibeau said. "With the current gas pricing, it is hard to keep afloat and I do not doubt their budget has exceeded itself with their current spending on gas."
As of Monday, the average cost of gas in Michigan is $5.22 per gallon. In Isabella County, the average cost is $5.19.
Michigan is one of 20 states plus Washington, D.C., where the average price of gas exceeds $5 per gallon.
Gibeau predicted that traffic stops and patrolling will be temporarily slowed. While CMU is in Isabella County, he guessed that not many students will be affected due to it being the summer term.
However, Gibeau said there may be "outcry" in the fall semester.
"I don't think many people really pay attention to what's going on in Isabella County," he stated. "They don't live there."
Campus Reform contacted the department to question if the campus division will be impacted by the tightened budget.
CMU and the sheriff's office were also contacted for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.
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