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In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Blues vs. Browns

    It's one of those hush-hush sort of things in the law enforcement community; the less said the better but yet there is no denying the fact that a turf war is always at the ready when it comes to Michigan State Troopers, Michigan Sheriffs and other local police officers.
   Years ago the Trooper's union published a statewide survey that showed the State Cops were more widely respect than any other agency in the state and the in-your-face stuff was not well received by others who wore a badge.  But the story goes beyond that.
   When it comes to crime fighting the Who-Is-In-Charge and Who-Got-The-Bad-Guy first is a constant internal game between all the cop shops.
    Now comes one that threatens to strain relations just a tad as the governor has opened up a can of budget worms.  She wants to save state trooper jobs by re-allocating a.k.a stealing $2.2 million from secondary road patrols which is money going to local sheriffs and others.
    The secondary road patrol fund goes back thirty years and was the subject of a ferocious battle as the state police tried to block state dollars from going to sheriff patrols. The troopers lost mostly because the chair of the senate budget committee at the time, Sen. Jerome Hart (D-Saginaw) wanted to help the sheriffs.
    Gov. Jennifer Granholm wants to back her state troopers and if the sheriffs lose out, so be it.
    Not so fast cries GOP Senator Valde Garcia who chairs the law enforcement budget.  He grasps the essence of this debate: "It pits the state police against the sheriffs and local police at a time when they need to be working together.'
     Garcia wants to avert trooper layoffs as you recall the flap last year when 120 troopers fresh out of trooper school found themselves for awhile fresh out of work.  It was not pretty.
     Problem for Garcia is simple, if not money from the secondary road patrols, where does he go?
     "I have no alternatives at the moment," he confesses but his search is underway as he hopes to avert another shoot out between the cops in blue and the ones in brown.


Blogger Timothy P. Flynn, Esq. said...

Very interesting post about the interplay between the law enforcement agencies during our sustained budget shortfalls. We'll have to stay tuned on this one. In the meantime, I've taken the liberty to spread your post, via twitter, to my (almost) 500 followers because I believe this is a topic of great interest to most Michiganders.

February 22, 2010 at 6:03 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This interplay or "turf war" is only played out among politians in the upper management circles in some of the agencies mentioned. The troopers, deputies, and officers as well as those command officers who have not forgotten the oath they swore to when they were hired are about getting the job done and working together to provide the residents and visitors to our state the service they deserve. All of the arguments or wars come down to money and funding, and it is a shame when individuals or groups of individuals attack eachother's agencies to forward their own personal or political agendas. I know Senator Garcia will do all in his power to ensure the legislature seeks the most appropriate solutions for the right reasons.

February 23, 2010 at 7:17 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What you forgot Tim, is that the road Patrol dollars originally came for the State Police budget. I beleive at the time it was $60,000. The road patrol money actually belongs in the MSP budget.

February 23, 2010 at 10:46 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

$60M it should read

February 23, 2010 at 10:47 AM 

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