IMLAY TWP. — Lapeer County Sheriff Scott McKenna will be a special guest at the township's March 20 meeting where he'll field questions from the board and members of the public about contracting with the township for a part-time deputy.
The meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. at the township hall on Fairgrounds Road.
Imlay Supervisor Steve Hoeksema said a number of factors sparked the discussion among elected leaders about having a dedicated officer.
"We've been getting an activity report from the sheriff since last year on what's happening in the township and we said maybe we'd like more of a police presence in the township...a little more than regular patrols," Hoeksema said.
According to meeting minutes from December 2018, the sheriff's department reported on things like ambulance, animal and traffic-related calls and car-deer accidents that occurred over a time period.
Other things, like suspicious vehicles parked at the township hall, also prompted some of the board's interest in having a deputy, Hoeksema said.
Both board members and residents will have a chance to ask McKenna questions. Hoeksema said they hope to learn more about the cost to the township (estimated to be $40,000 a year) and what options they have in terms of the duties they could assign to the officer. Currently, Imlay Township utilizes retired deputy Mike Gepfrey as their ordinance enforcement officer.
"No decisions have been made about having a deputy. Hopefully, after the meeting, we will have a lot more answers as to what the board is thinking and what everyone wants," Hoeksema said.
In the Tri-City area, Attica and Arcadia townships contract with the sheriff's department for police services. Attica utilizes the services of two full-time deputies—one each on first and second shift—while Arcadia has one first shift deputy.
Other municipalities the sheriff's department contracts with are Deerfield, Elba, Marathon, Mayfield and Oregon townships and the villages of Clifford and North Branch.
Maria Brown joined the Tri-City Times staff in 2003, the same year she earned a bachelor's degree in English from Calvin College. Born and raised in Imlay City, she and her family reside in the Capac area where she enjoys gardening and reading.