Van Buren Co. voters to take up public safety millage renewal

VAN BUREN COUNTY, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Tuesday, voters in Van Buren County will have a direct impact on public safety.

The county is asking homeowners to renew a 1986 millage which allowed the county to establish 24-hour road patrols, combat illegal drugs, and create a K-9 and computer crime investigation unit.

The proposal on the ballot is a renewal, so if it passed, taxes will not increase.

The county's population has increased by nearly 17 percent since 1986, and authorities say they need the millage to pass to keep current services going.

"To meet the needs of the people that are calling into these calls, we need the amount of officers that we have on the road minimum to provide the services people are getting now," said Sergeant David Walker, with the Van Buren County Sheriff's Department. "Right now, calls are backed up and response times are in question. If we were to lose this grant, people could be waiting not hours, days for an officer to respond to a non-emergency call."

Election Day is Tuesday, August 5.