MASON — The 911 dispatch center for Ingham County is understaffed and is working to boost its ranks, but on the 50th anniversary of the first ever 911 call the center faces many challenges when hiring new employees. Ingham County Controller Timothy Dolehanty says the shortage was, until recently, “significant” and “roughly 15 dispatch seats out of … 48 or 49 total” were empty. Dolehanty says, “It’s a lot of overtime hours for some of our employees. Everybody, I think …
Today’s update includes stories on the California wildfires and news from the Boy Scouts.
Lansing’s current city spending is focused on public safety and public works, according to city budget documents. Public safety gets over $70,000,000 of funding for both the fire and police department; and public works gets a little under the same amount for roads, sewers and recycling. In the 2016-2017 fiscal year, the city of Lansing budget had a total of $199.7 million dollars to spread out throughout several different departments. Lansing resident Ciara Johnson found the funding for road work very odd. “I find it very ironic that funding to repair roads gets over $18 million, like you said.
Lansing Township first responders, among others in Lansing area, respond to calls outside jurisdiction
Like the other first responders in the greater-Lansing area, Lansing Township Police Officer Matt Birr’s daily routine is different from others in his field of work. The 10-year veteran can spend his 12-hour shift doing a number of things; from patrolling the morning traffic at Waverly East Intermediate School and other surrounding areas in the township, or handling penny thefts and other reports of mischievous behavior to intervening with calls about domestic abuse. “The days tend to go by pretty fast,” Birr said. And due to the fragmentation of Lansing Township, many of the station’s calls from the dispatch center aren’t actually cases where the Lansing Township Police Department has jurisdiction. The east and west sides of the township sandwich the city of Lansing, and the township is just blocks away from Clinton and Eaton counties.
The Meridian Township firefighters and Boy Scout Troop 125 teamed to help celebrate Meridian Township’s 175th anniversary. The two groups hosted a pancake breakfast at 242 Community Church in Okemos on March 11. The firefighters made pancakes, while the troop served them to attendees. Ted Ferris, an assistant scoutmaster for Troop 125, said he was excited for the event and believeed it would be beneficial for Boy Scout Troop 125. “This is service to the community in terms of helping out.
New leadership within two public service departments in Lansing Township offers the community a fresh new perspective and employee continuity.
Lansing residents, in the face of high crime rates and a recent murder, generally feel their city’s reputation as dangerous is “overblown.” Instead, they point to community self-policing efforts and growth as indicators of the city’s health.
The Lansing Police and Fire Departments have a history participating in and hosting community-friendly events, but in recent times there has been an effective increase in building a sense of community.
Lansing Township, which lies within Ingham County, has generated a majority of its revenue from property taxes paid by residents and business in the area since 2015. According to the 2016 Municipal Finance Summary, Lansing Township had a total of $14,753,216 to allocate throughout all departments in the community. Michigan State University economics professor Ronald Fisher, who has reviewed Lansing Township’s expenditures before, says the expenditures shows a large portion of a loan that needs to be paid back. “From what I see, the township has a high fraction in debt which is larger than normal,” Fisher said. “This one is a special case.
By Erica Marra
The Meridian Times Staff Reporter
The summer before heading off to college is typically considered to be the perfect time for recent high school graduates to create long-lasting memories with their
friends. While 2012 Okemos High School graduate Colin Jackson said that he expected to create some moments he would never forget before leaving his hometown, he never expected them to be so incendiary. “The summer I graduated, there was a rumor going around that a girl I knew accidentally set fire to a field called ‘The Shire’ that we used to have bonfires at,” Jackson said. “Apparently she didn’t put a fire out all the way and ended up burning down a good chunk of [the field].”
Jackson said his curiosity led him to revisit the alleged burn site to see if the rumors were true. “I went back this year and all of the grass is like, seriously lower and you can still see where stuff is charred, so I guess it actually happened,” Jackson said.
By Madelyn Scroggie
The Mason Times
Mason, Mich. – Two thermal imaging cameras that can detect heat energy through
smoke, walls or doors were donated to The Mason Fire Department by Dart Container Corporation on March 9 and have already begun to help firefighters on the job. Fire Chief Kerry Minshall said in an interview that the department has already put the cameras to good use. “So far we have only had them a couple weeks,” said Minshall, “but we had a structure fire the other morning, a week ago today, and were able to use them.”
The fire took place in the attic of a home in Mason. Within a few minutes, the firefighters could tell exactly where there was a wire burned off which was causing the fire.