ISABELLA COUNTY, MI – Prices at the pump are getting so outrageous that a Michigan police department’s gas budget has been stretched to its absolute limit – despite recent significant increases in their funding – leading to the sheriff making the surprising public announcement that “non-urgent” calls will be handled over the phone going forward.
Isabella County sheriff Michael Main originally made the announcement on the department’s Facebook page that some of the calls his deputies will be responding to will be by phone-only due to Michigan’s average price per-gallon of gas reaching $5.21.
“We have exhausted what funds were budgeted for fuel with several months to go before the budget reset,” he wrote. “I have instructed the deputies to attempt to manage whatever calls are acceptable over the phone. This would be non-in-progress calls, non-life-threatening calls, calls that do not require evidence collection or documentation.”
“I want to assure the community that safety is our primary goal, and we will continue to respond to those types of calls,” Main added.
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However, Main’s post raised eyebrows in the community, considering the fact that the department’s budget has increased by $517,640 over the past two years, from $3.18 million in 2020 to $3.7 million in 2022, representing a 16.2 percent raise.
Two days after Main made his announcement, the department appears to not only have deleted the comment, but their entire Facebook page as well. The department’s official website does not mention the new policy of deputies responding to “non-urgent” calls by phone, or the issue with their fuel budget.
Main, who has served as sheriff of the 70,300-resident Isabella County since 2016, is a Republican who ran unopposed in his most recent election.