The Village of Howard City and the County of Montcalm recently approved an agreement that would merge the Howard City Police Department with the Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office. This means that the three full time police officers serving Howard City—Former Chief Steve Dewitt, and Officers Trent Moeggenberg and Brandon Allen—became Sheriff Employees March 1, 2014. The agreement also provides for the transfer of two patrol vehicles to the Sheriff’s Office along with some additional police and office equipment.
“This agreement is an excellent example of Government agencies working together to provide the best and most economical way to provide services to the citizens in their community,” Sheriff William Barnwell stated. “All three of the officers are very qualified and have done an excellent job with the Howard City Police Department. I am confident they will continue to do so as they assume their new role as Sheriff Deputies.”
“This agreement will enhance our existing Police activities,” said S. Michael Scott, Howard City Village President. “We have had an excellent Police Department for decades. However, with changes in requirements and administration, it has become increasingly difficult to have our officers on the road as many hours as we would like. This agreement, with the administrative resources that the Sheriff’s Office provides, will allow more proactive Policing. It is always difficult to change but we feel that it is the right time and the change will not only benefit both the citizens of the Village and Township but also the Sheriff’s Department,” said Scott.
The existing police agreement between the Village of Howard City and Reynolds Township for 20 hours of police protection per week will now be handled by the Sheriff’s Office. This means that Howard City will pay the Sheriff’s Office for 5,000 hours of police hours per year and the Township will pay for 1,000 hours for a total of 6,000 patrol hours or three full time Deputies per year.
The Village will pay the county $511,170 over the course of nearly three years. The contract will expire on December 31, 2016, at which time the village may either continue to contract for services or reestablish their own department. Reynolds Township will pay the county $29,820 through the end of 2014. However, the Township may choose to extend the contract for additional years at the end of their contract.
Citizens in Howard City and Reynolds Township should call 911 for all emergencies. For non-emergency calls or to contact a Sheriff Deputy please call Montcalm County Central Dispatch at 989-831-3500 or the Sheriff’s Office at 989-831-7590.