Michigan Sheriff Won't Send Cops to "Non-Life-Threatening" Calls Due to Gas Prices

The sheriff has instructed deputies to handle most calls over the phone, despite a $500,000 budget increase since 2020.

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Downtown Mt. Pleasant in Isabella County, Michigan
Downtown Mt. Pleasant in Isabella County, Michigan
Photo: Magicpiano/Wikicommons

A Sheriff in Michigan posted to Facebook last week that his department would only respond to active crimes and life-threatening calls due to officers exceeding their gas budget for the year months away from the start of the new budget. That Facebook post is now gone, but officials are still scrambling to find more money to fuel officers’ vehicles.

Michigan, where our unofficial state motto is “way more dystopian than you’d think,” is home to Isabella County where about 70,000 folks live two-and-a-half hours north west of Detroit. Isabella County Sheriff Michael Main said deputies would take calls for minor problems and crimes rather than sending a car out to every call, the Center Square Michigan reports:

“We have exhausted what funds were budgeted for fuel with several months to go before the budget reset,” Sheriff Michael Main said in a Facebook post.

Documents show the Isabella County Sheriff’s Office budget jumped from $3.18 million in 2020 to $3.7 million in 2022 – a 16.2% increase. About 70,300 people live in the county.

The Road Patrols budget has also increased from $123,541 to $134,080 over those two years, an 8.5% increase.

Main said he instructed deputies to “manage non-in-progress calls, non-life-threatening calls, [and] calls that do not require evidence collection or documentation” over the phone.

“Deputies will continue to provide patrols to all areas of the county, they will respond to those calls that need to be managed in person,” Main’s social media post continued. “Any call that is in progress with active suspects will involve a response by the deputies. I want to assure the community that safety is our primary goal, and we will continue to respond to those types of calls.”

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Nice little community you have here. It would be a real shame if police stopped responding to calls because they don’t have the gas money, eh?

Gas prices are indeed steep across the country, including in little towns in Michigan, where gallon of unleaded will run you $5.21.

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Well, it looks like the cops will be getting a little extra cash for gas. The Isabella County Financial and Administrative Committee put forth an amendment to the current budget which, if approved, would net the department and extra $20,000 in gas money, WNEM reports.

If you’re in Isabella County and the Sheriff won’t show, you could always roll the dice and call the Border Patrol, which considers the entire state of Michigan under its jurisdiction and is no longer beholden to the 4th amendment. Or you could write Ryan Kelley, the “...most prominent candidate running for the Michigan Republican Party’s gubernatorial nomination” who was just arrested for being an active participant in Jan. 6.