Tonkin: Niles Township won’t go unprotected

Published 10:33 am Wednesday, April 7, 2004

By By JAN GRIFFEY / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Niles Township Trustee Kevin Tonkin said he was dismayed by news stories last week detailing the demise of the township police department's midnight shift.
He said it is "disturbing that the public knows the financial problems Niles Township is having supporting our police department.
He said the township's safety committee, of which Tonkin is chairman, plans to meet with Township Police Chief John Street to see what can be done for township officers to operate a midnight shift on a "sporadic basis."
Last week, Street announced to other area police administrators and his own officers that because of budget cuts, the township will not operate a midnight shift.
Unlike the township's police department, Niles Township residents have turned down four ballot issues asking for a special assessment to support the operation of the township police department.
Tonkin said the township has sought some kind of proposal from other area departments regarding help with law enforcement operations in the township. He said Monday night he has received one such proposal, but would not elaborate on it because it had not been reviewed by the safety committee.
Tonkin said he isn't certain there will be a Berrien County Sheriff's Department in Niles Township during all times when the township's police department isn't operating, but said he wanted to assure township residents if they call the police during the hours of the midnight shift "somebody will respond."