Letter to the editor: Reader encourages voters to support jail millage.

June 30, 2022

Letter to the editor: Reader encourages voters to support jail millage.

Dear Editor:

There is an important ballot initiative voters will see at the Aug. 2 primary election. We would ask for all of the citizens to get out, support our sheriff, and vote yes on the new sheriff’s office and jail facility. The proposal is for 2.25 mills for 20 years. Our current sheriff’s office and jail is 54 years old and no longer meets the mission it was built for.

The current building opened in 1968 and is a linear jail design, which does not allow staff to directly observe inmates. Our current jail houses 66 inmates of which is nearly always at capacity. Our sheriff cannot serve over 800 outstanding warrants because of space considerations. Our current jail is unsafe for our corrections officers to work in and unsafe for its inmates. Because of this, the citizens of Oceana County would be liable for any potential litigation resulting from this unsafe environment.

Major renovations to mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems costing 5 million dollars would still not bring the current facility up to Michigan Department of Corrections, and ADA standards.

It is important now more than ever to support our local law enforcement! The new sheriff’s office and jail complex would have 144 beds for inmates, as well as special cells for mental health patients. Let’s support our sheriff and his deputies by voting yes on Aug. 2. Please go to https://saferoceanacounty.com/ for more information.

Connie Blaauw,

Shelby

Area Churches

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