Story Archive

Out of Control

The village of Oakley, Mich., is about one square mile, and has fewer than 300 residents, but its police department grew to well over 100 officers, mostly reserves who apparently have no police training. Residents wanted to know why, and who all of these out-of-town officers were. The police department not only refused to produce a roster to citizens, it denied a Freedom of Information Act request from the local newspaper. The officers hold special gun permits which allow them to carry guns in schools, sports arenas, and other places that civilians with gun permits cannot. Even the village board could not get a list of officers and, citing liability concerns, voted to disband the town’s department entirely — and to release the roster. Even with that, the chief has not released the officers’ names, and the board of trustees each received a letter on the doors of their homes from “well-known Detroit attorney” Herschel P. Fink, who warned that releasing the roster would be a “safety threat to the reserve police officers and their families ” — from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS. Trustee Francis Koski sued to get a judge to enforce the police shutdown (and was granted that order), and said he would next move to force the untrained officers, who apparently got their status and gun permits by making donations to the police department, to return their badges, IDs, and any guns or other equipment owned by the village. (RC/Saginaw News) ...The United States “shall have a new birth of freedom — [and] government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.” —President Abraham Lincoln, in the Gettysburg Address (1863).
Original Publication Date: 19 October 2014
This story is in True’s book collections, in Volume 21.

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