Residents Opposed to Police Layoffs to Make Stand at Chesterfield Meeting
Critical of the plan to lay off officers, some Chesterfield Township residents are hoping to be heard at the Tuesday night board meeting.
A call for residents to vocalize their opposition to police layoffs in Chesterfield Township circulated this weekend on social media.
The local effort, dubbed COPS for Citizens Opposed to Police Streamlining in Chesterfield Township, encourages residents to attend the Tuesday night Board of Trustees meeting.
"Enough of this has been done already," it states. "Now is the time for your voices to be heard. Citizens of Chesterfield Township need to rally behind those that have sworn to serve and protect us.
"Your elected officials are blaming the layoffs, of up to 14 employees, of the Chesterfield Township Police Department on the failing of the proposed millage held in November."
It disagrees with Supervisor Michael Lovelock's stance that conducting layoffs at this time is good government when new businesses, such as Menards, are generating tax revenue. Lovelock said, although the department is funded through 2013, the layoffs are necessary so the force isn't in poor financial shape at the end of the year. He also said he will continue to support the department so it doesn't disband in favor of a Macomb County Sheriff's Office contract.
Newly elected Trustee David Joseph responded on the COPS-circulated material on Facebook in part that the layoff plan is "the product of the Chief (Bruce Smith) and Supervisor. It did not include ANY input or direction from the new Board members and I do not endorse it.
"I hope there is a massive outpouring of resident participation on Tuesday. Our citizens and officers deserve better than this and those responsible need to hear how unacceptable it is!" Joseph wrote.
Joseph recently suggested an outside review of police finances that ultimately was rejected by a board majority.
Smith, who strongly pushed for the tax-increase proposal to fund the department, has not responded to repeated requests for comment. He previously said he hoped to put the matter back on the ballot, but with a sunset provision.
There are no scheduled items pertaining to the police layoffs on the board meeting's agenda, but there's time allotted each session for public comments. Late last week, Lovelock said he had knowledge of plans to discuss the police department during the meeting.
The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday in Municipal Offices, which are closed Monday due to the holiday.
Tell us in the comments' section below what you think about this issue.
See More on Patch
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- Chesterfield Board Turns Down New Layoff Proposal
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- Chesterfield Invites Public to Police Layoff Talks
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