As 2015 winds down, I wanted to take a moment and reflect back on the past year.
Law Enforcement Contracts Renewed and Expanded
I am pleased to announce that over the course of this year, we have extended the contracts for each of the jurisdictions that we patrol. The Sheriff’s Office provides primary provide police service to:
Harrison Township, Lenox Township, Macomb Township, Washington Township, Mt. Clemens and the Village of New Haven.
In January (2015), Washington Township increased the size of our contracted patrol, adding seven more deputy sheriff positions. And, in January (2016) we will deploy two additional deputy sheriffs to our Macomb Township Substation. As part of the Macomb Township contract, we will also add one dispatcher position (at our COMTEC Building) to help address the high call volume.
As your Sheriff, I pledge to continue to provide high-quality, professional law enforcement services to all of the communities that we partner with.
Macomb Township Gains Safe-City Designation
In September, Macomb Township was recognized as the second “safest city” in the State of Michigan, in the annual Munetrix Safest City study. The Sheriff’s Office is proud of the role we played in this safe-city designation and we look forward to a long partnership with the fast-growing Township.
Emergency Dispatching Services
In February, the Sheriff’s Office began to dispatch for the City of Sterling Heights. The Sheriff’s Office now provides emergency dispatching services for 12 different communities, 10 fire departments, and one emergency medical service provider. There is now a Communications Administrator and 4 Supervisors among a staff of 53 highly-trained dispatchers working out of the COMTEC Building in Mt. Clemens.
Lives Saved with Anti-Opiod Drug
In response to an alarmingly high number of drug overdose incidents in the County, our department began to issue Naxalone to its first-responders. Naxalone (NARCAN), is a nasal spray that can reverse the deadly effects of an opioid overdose. The Macomb County Sheriff’s Office was the first agency in the County to provide the drug to its deputies, and since the implementation of the program, Sheriff Deputies have used the reversal agent and have saved 13 lives.
The Sheriff’s Office recognizes that a large number (over 80%) of the inmates housed in the Jail suffer from some form of substance abuse. In an effort to address the problem, the Jail Administration (partnered with the 41B District Court of Clinton Township) has started a pilot program to provide the drug “Vivitrol” to certain persons just before their release back into the Community. This drug (naltrexone) blocks the effect of narcotic medicines and is being offered as a first step in part of a continuing substance abuse treatment program.
Jail Renovations Continuing
During the past year, our Jail has been undergoing some long overdue renovations. Due to the work being performed, we have been forced to temporarily reduce our Jail population. The Sheriff’s Office has worked with Community Corrections and the Courts to bring the Jail population in-line with the available bed-space
The renovations consist of improvements to the plumbing and air-handling systems inside the facility, as well as upgrades and enhancements to the exterior of the building. While these Jail renovations are not the long-term solution that we require, they will help us meet the criminal justice needs into the immediate future.
Criminal Justice Reform Study
Our office has initiated a criminal justice reform study that hopefully will provide us recommendations and long-term solutions to our criminal justice needs here in Macomb County. The study seeks to provide alternatives-to-incarceration to offenders (with medical and mental health issues) who are better served in a setting other than Jail.
Despite these challenges, I want to assure everyone that the Sheriff’s Office remains committed to providing a safe jail environment provided by a highly-trained staff in conjunction with our contracted service providers.
Lastly, I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the citizens of Macomb County and look forward to answering the challenges set forth in the New Year.
On behalf of all the hardworking men and women of the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office, we want to wish everyone a safe and joyous holiday season.