Two Cass deputies threatened by proposed $2.6-million cutPublished 10:06am Friday, April 2, 2010
By JOHN EBY
Dowagiac Daily News
CASSOPOLIS – Cass County commissioners Thursday night joined Sheriff Joe Underwood in opposing a proposed $2.6 million reduction in secondary road patrol (SRP) funds “for any purpose,” including subsidizing the Michigan State Police budget.
Commissioners in Resolution 58 of 2010 introduced by Robert Wagel, R-Wayne Township, also called upon the Michigan Legislature to support full funding for SRP in the FY 2010-2011 budget.
Michigan Public Act 416 of 1978 allows for distribution of SRP funds to county sheriffs, who have utilized these funds for the patrol and safety of secondary roads for more than 30 years.
A $10 assessment on all moving violations funds SRP.
Michigan State Police also receives a $10 assessment.
Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s FY 2010-2011 budget recommendations include the $2.6 million reduction in SRP to fund MSP positions and radios.
The proposed 23-percent SRP reduction would result in deputy layoffs statewide.
“Cass County would be no exception to counties (which) would be significantly impacted by this proposal, including the necessary layoffs of at least two deputies and a projected dollar reduction of $171,000.”
The resolution continues, “The governor’s proposal not only raids dollars from funds specifically allocated by law to sheriffs, it instantly initiates a significant reduction in an already shrinking local law enforcement workforce.”
Copies of the resolution are to be forwarded to Granholm, Sen. Ron Jelinek, R-Three Oaks, Reps. Matt Lori, R-Constantine, and Sharon Tyler, R-Niles, and the Michigan Association of Counties.