Riverview Mayor Tim Durand (left) said at Monday’s City Council meeting that he was not planning to try to reduce city expenditures by asking Wayne County Sheriff’s deputies to patrol the city.
By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
RIVERVIEW – Wayne County Sheriff’s Office deputies won’t be patrolling city streets in place of local police anytime soon, Mayor Tim Durand reassured residents last week.
At Monday’s City Council meeting he echoed the response of city officials at the previous meeting to resident comments, saying that despite budgetary pressure, deputies are not being considered as a possible replacement for city officers.
“I’m not interested in having the Wayne County Sheriff come in and patrol our city,” Durand said. “There may be other options out there that have not or may have been discussed, but does anyone on this council want to have the Wayne County Sheriff come in and make a presentation? I’m not interested.”
The mayor said while he and the council “respect what the county does,” there are “a lot of things you give up” with sheriff’s deputy patrols, adding, “I don’t need someone responding from out in Sumpter Township or somewhere to service the citizens of Riverview. It’s not going to happen on this watch or this shift.
“When people start buttonholing me on the streets and saying, ‘Bring in the Wayne County Sheriff,’ then I’ll listen.”
Schools and local public safety officers are key elements of a community’s identity, Durand said, and not having the latter may encourage crime while discouraging new residents from moving in.
Councilman Thomas Coffey said Riverview’s location gave him cause for concern about deputies’ ability to patrol the city.
“We’re here at the end of the county line farthest from the heart,” he said. “So when you start talking about being serviced by Wayne County, we’re at the southern part. Wayne County is already strapped covering other areas.”
Noting that deputies’ patrol cars seldom are seen in local parks that fall under Wayne County Park System jurisdiction, Coffey said the Riverview Police Department is run economically.
“We’ve got a pretty good handle on the budget, and the city manager’s on top of things,” he said. “He’s very frugal, and I think the mayor and council’s trying to hold everything in line to provide the service to the city.
“I think we’re providing the taxpayers with a very economical service at top quality.”