New proposal for Bloomfield Township pushes to maintain police, fire services

Posted at 11:48 PM, Apr 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-01 23:48:40-04

BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) — It was a massive fire that tore through Oakland Hills Country Club recently that prompted a large-scale public safety response.

Sadly, the alarming scene hasn’t been the only emergency leading to hundreds of thousands of dollars spent in overtime in Bloomfield Township.

Bloomfield Township is ranked among the safest communities not just in Michigan, but also nationally. It’s a reason leaders say a new millage is required to maintain that level.

“It’s not just money, it’s safety too. Also, for the work-life balance for these firefighters. When you are away for four to five days straight instead of three on 24-hours shifts, that’s not a healthy work-life balance,” Bloomfield Township Supervisor Dani Walsh said.

Walsh is joining both the police and fire departments in asking citizens to pass a new public safety millage to help maintain staffing and vehicles, improve speeding enforcement and help pay for social workers for 911 calls involving mental health issues.

“This will give us the opportunity to add two to four more officers to the department. My traffic unit was four to five officers, including a supervisor. I’d like to bring that back,” Bloomfield Township Police Department Chief Phil Langmeyer said.

The 911 call center fields more than 70,000 calls a year. And an animal welfare unit would also benefit from a millage projected to cost the average homeowner less than $200 a year. According to the township, this would be a consolation of two millages to allow for the hiring of more firefighters as well.

“I would support the police because I want to be safe. I don’t want them overworked and not being able to protect me the way they should,” one resident said.

The millage does guarantee all funding will go to public safety. That said, more public discussion is expected to follow these next few months leading up to the vote.