Troopers transferring to Niles PostPublished 8:45pm Wednesday, August 17, 2011
State Sen. John Proos lobbied to keep the Michigan State Police Bridgman Post open, he told Niles Township officials and residents at a township board meeting Monday.
The Bridgman Post is one of 21 state police offices slated to be closed in October, transferring the officers from the Bridgman Post to the Niles Post. Twelve other posts will be detached, meaning they will be open for troopers but less accessible to the public. Detachments are not open for regular business hours.
Proos, R-St. Joseph, said the number of posts needed to be decreased but he encouraged Gov. Rick Snyder to spare Bridgman’s office due to it proximity to the Cook Nuclear Plant.
“I fought to keep the Bridgman Post. The governor disagreed, which is his right. He is the CEO of Michigan,” Proos said.
But Proos admitted something had to be done about the amount of office space in Michigan. The state has 7.1 million-square-feet of office space, while California, with a much higher population, has 7.3 million-square-feet.
“We have a problem,” Proos said.
Michigan has more than 800 leases of office space, according to Proos. Leasing the Bridgman Post was costing the state $100,000 a year.
Under the state police’s regional policing plan, which will allow the department to meet its $20.7 million general fund budget, the number of posts will be reduced from 62 to 29. The plan doesn’t call for laying off any troopers.
“The MSP is confident that service levels will either be unchanged or enhanced given the increased flexibility in deployment and scheduling provided by this regional policing plan,” said Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue in a news release.
The state police will bring in new technologies that provide a “mobile office environment allowing troopers to perform many administrative duties directly from their patrol cars,” Etue said.
Other posts scheduled to close are Ithaca, Corunna, Adrian, Richmond, Detroit, Bridgeport, Gladwin, Battle Creek, Manistee, L’Anse, Stephenson, Munising and Iron River.