Report finds Michigan has fewer cops on beat

DETROIT (AP) -- A newspaper says the number of police officers in Michigan is down 16 percent since 2001 as local governments deal with lower tax revenue by trimming departments.

Some communities are refusing to raise property taxes and are turning law enforcement over to the sheriff's office or state police. Benton Harbor in southwestern Michigan may close its department to save millions.

The Detroit News says Michigan had nearly 19,000 police officers at the end of October, compared to more than 22,000 in 2001 when the economy was stronger. The newspaper says the numbers come from the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards.

In Oakland County's Waterford Township, the police department has 50 officers, compared to 106 in 1999. A special millage was defeated in November.

Published: Wed, Dec 26, 2012