Unionville Police Station (courtesy wnem.com)

“Unionville [MI] has its own school system, flower shop, and bar – but a police department is missing in the Tuscola County community,” wnem.com reports. No, the cops aren’t AWOL. Unionville – the Gateway to the Thumb – is nowhere near Roswell. So alien abduction isn’t to blame. “Both of the town’s police officers resigned last week. Village officials said the former officers turned in a resignation letter citing irreconcilable differences between them and the village council.” If “irreconcilable differences” has the same meaning used here as it did during my first divorce, I don’t want to know. But I would like to know: how does the population of 508 live without police? I’m glad I asked me that question . . .

“I think we need some protection around here,” Village resident Bob Hare said.

Fellow resident Laura Zuzga agrees.

“We had a bunch of break-ins in the fall and they were short-handed at the time so it’s kind of scary. Especially now that it’s out, that people in the area know, there’s no one around,” Zuzga said.

Now Zuzga, who has kids, said life for her is a little uneasy without Unionville’s police around.

“I make sure windows are locked, doors are locked, things like that,” she said.

The village president said the town is looking to hire at least one part-time officer.

“I hope they figure it out soon,” Zuzga said.

Meanwhile, Hare isn’t going to wait for the village to decide what to do next.

“I think I’ll just start carrying (a gun) myself,” he said.

Sounds like a plan. [h/t SL]

 

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49 Responses to Common Sense in Unionville Michigan

  1. He might suggest to the other 507 citizens (of legal age to do so, of course) that they do the same.

  2. “I make sure windows are locked, doors are locked, things like that,” she said.

    Oh! The horror! The poor baby actually has to lock her own door. Will she ever recover?

    • That’s a HUGE step in a small rural town. It goes against literally generations of living. Tantamount to city folk running for the Civil Defense shelters in the 50s.

      • I’m glad someone else recognizes this about country living, but…
        How did she think two cops covering a town would protect her from having to lock her windows?

        • They didn’t, not directly. What they may be worried about is criminals becoming emboldened now that they know there won’t be any police around. Probably won’t happen overnight though.

      • @Jus Bill, I get the whole country living ethos since I’ve lived it. And I still locked my doors and windows. Google “Clutter family.” They were rural, trusting and dead. Google “Charles Starkweather.” It doesn’t get more rural than that. The list is absurdly long, as is the insistence by country folk that nothing bad can happen to them.

        Evil is everywhere.

        • My sister in law insisted that Wallowa County (the only county without a traffic light) didn’t have a drug problem.
          Until the shoot out with the hells angels over drugs.

      • It’s ridiculous thinking no matter where you live. I live in Podunk Holler, MS, with my next-door neighbor living a mile away. Everyone I know has always locked their car and house doors and kept the windows shut when not at home. Just because I’ve never suffered a break-in doesn’t mean I won’t…why make it easier? It’s an easy enough habit to learn.

      • Well, I’d hope in a small town that thieves would be shot, then strung up on utility poles or billboards as a warning to others passing thru.

  3. In Iowa, a town of 508 citizens does not require City Police protection. We just kind of look out for each other and call for a County Deputy if the need arises. Which is virtually never. How does a small town afford a 2 Officer Dep’t?

    • I’ll take a wag and say DHS grant. I wonder if the “irreconcilable difference” was the Town Council not approving the MRAP paperwork.

    • I’ll guess that an Interstate runs through or near the town. Two police cars can make a lot of money from speeding tickets on a section of Interstate. We call this a speed trap, and we should outlaw them when used this way.

  4. When I lived in Iowa this was the norm for many of the small rural towns. Either the county sheriff or an adjacent larger incorporated town’s department would be utilized as local law enforcement.

    • Like most small Iowa towns, we have a 28E agreement in place with the County Sheriff Dep’t.
      That is the true definition of ” when seconds count cops are minutes away”…….

      • I try to explain this to people here in Florida and they give you a blank stare in horror. “OMG, how can you not have a police department?”

        • Correct me if I am wrong, are there not entire counties in Oregon with no police or sheriff coverage?

        • In 2005, I lived in a medium sized town (population 10K or so) in Oregon. Our police department shutdown for the night at 2am. A lot of even smaller cities in Oregon do not have police departments. They rely on county Sheriff Deputies for law enforcement service. I have heard from friends that live in much more rural areas that response times can easily exceed an hour.

      • Got that right. That sucking sound is 50%+ of the tiny pile of city tax $ going out towards the Sheriff’s office. Have to keep Attorney General Dimwit Miller and the Deputy’s union happy

      • Search Bing Primarily about MONEY. The police “community building effforts” is an amusing line though.

        http://www.michigansthumb.com/news/local/article_39324cc8-eb13-11e3-8f46-0019bb2963f4.html

        “This path has been clear for some time now in the direction that this council is taking towards this police department. I will say that they (council majority and clerk) are destroying the police department with their incompetence and that means one thing. The community building efforts that this department has invested in for many years will stop and the community will begin to deteriorate.

        “We have decided that the town does not need the distraction of the conflict that has developed between the police department and the village council.”

        The resignation of both officers was effective Friday.

        “It has been a pleasure working for the residents of the village of Unionville; and with time, this period of turmoil will subside and the community will hopefully grown its services again,” said the officers’ letter of resignation.

        The police department has been under review as the village considers cutting expenses. The village reports that 26 percent of its budget pays for law enforcement. Each officer works 12 hours per week.

        The village approved a millage request, 5-1, to finance additional police protection be put on the November ballot. But the 1 mill request was not forwarded to the Tuscola County Clerk’s Office by the required May 13 deadline.

  5. Same thing happened in Calvert, TX about 3 years ago, their entire force of 3 quit. I can’t recall any ill effects, although they probably missed out on a week or two of income from their notorious speed trap.

  6. There was a rash of vehicle break-ins and thefts from vehicles in my neighborhood over the past month. More than a dozen in one week. When I asked the investigating deputy, he revealed all were unlocked, including a storage building with several golf carts, a 4 wheeler, and other fairly expensive items all which were missing. “Crimes of convenience” law enforcement call them. My wife and I went around to all homes and reminded all neighbors to lock their doors and their vehicles and turn on security lights. My next door neighbor arranged video cameras on our home and his own. While we were out of town, he caught the miscreants trying to enter another neighbors autos and held them at gunpoint until the deputies arrived. The Neighborhood Watch Association we founded some years ago was fruitful in catching the culprits, but we need to remind all to take basic steps of personal safety and prevention.

    We need to have a more involved citizenry and we can have a safer and higher quality of life.

  7. If you think about it, criminals might be more inclined to think twice before committing a crime in that town.

    • Smart criminals might think twice. Most criminals (especially low-level dirtbag thieves) aren’t exactly Lex Luthor, though, and might not think it all the way through.

  8. It not just rural towns, but rural parts of bigger towns too. I live in a city of about 3,000, and during tourist season, it jumps to about 12,000 on the weekends. But out here in the boonies, nobody locks there door. A couple years ago I put my car in a ditch at around 11:00 pm, and my phone was dead, and I had left the charger at work. I went up to a strangers house to knock on the door so I could use their phone. I knocked and all I heard on the other side was a friendly “Come In!”.

    You know what is better than a lock, though? Home carry.

  9. I’m surprised they only have 2. Most states list govt. employees as 13-18%. I think they need a chief and a supervisor for each shift. Maybe a EMA director and a homeland security coordinator. By the way, most local police and firemen don’t even know they have those two on the payroll, much less who they are..

  10. Seems like these small town folks would get together and set up a “citizens watch patrol”, preferably using people who had a concealed permit, if not, open carry. Point is to let thieves know there are good guys with guns roaming around the town.

    • The town of Sanford, Florida just that arrangement.

      And then an out of town miscreant named Trayvon decided he didn’t like the way a Hispanic guy was looking at him. And we all know how that turned out after Sharpton et all pitched a fit.

      As long as the volunteers realize how things may turn out.

  11. Instead of locking yourself inside your house, how about locking repeat criminals away for life?

  12. Unionville isn’t all that “isolated” or “rural.” That said, there are plenty of larger municipalities in Michigan with fewer police. My dad once had to respond to a false alarm after a power outage in a town pushing 1000, and what should have been a fifteen minute job turned into several hours because they were unable to contact the officer, due to said power outage.

    I mostly grew up in a township with around 2000 population. No police force. We had a deal with the neighboring town that for x% of our property taxes, they shared police, fire, and school services. Still, 911 dispatchers were fond of telling callers our area was out of their jurisdiction. A family friend found a good way to get a quick response when calling for over a possible home invasion was to tell the dispatcher, “I’ll call you back after I shoot the insert favored expletive here.”

    As for the door locking, the “people leave their doors unlocked at night here” attitude is rampant, often in entirely inappropriate places. I spent a couple years at home after I left the service, both unemployed and with jobs that left me home during odd hours. There were many times I’d be home during the day and hear someone try to open one or more doors, and then just leave when they were all locked. All made a little scarier by the fact that one of the first things I did to justify my being there while unemployed was install a new knob on the back door since the one they had “locked” as long as you didn’t jiggle it a third time. Then again, I suppose the alarm would scare off anyone who was looking for an easy hit.

    Home carry? Let’s just say I know the difficulty of hiding a GLOCK 29 in an Uncle Mike’s clip on under a t-shirt so as to not freak out the UPS guy too much.

    I now live in an area that I wouldn’t call rural, but we are isolated. I get the impression that if you were of such a mind, you could find your way inside a lot of houses uninvited and unimpeded. Also, no local police force below the county level. However, the neighbors look out for each other. This last winter, we had a guy from around the corner bring his Bobcat by and help dig us out, just because. It’s pretty much impossible for me to so much lift the hood on my car without someone coming by to offer advice. And I can all but guarantee there’s not a single household without at least a deer rifle or shotgun handy.

  13. Even in CT, we have towns without any police or a part-time state trooper — This is why some of the laws in CT are just plain stupid and impacted many people who for years had long guns without registration many handed down for generations. Many stupid laws are created by people in big cities without consideration for anyone and anywhere further than they can see.

  14. The County will probably step and after they come to a quick agreement and a check clears at the bank.

    Both officers resigned? Would it be a surprise if it came out that the Council was utilizing them as their personal errand boys & private police harassment tool? City Councils are notorious for leaning on their law enforcement agencies to do their bidding….which these two officers probably got tired of.

  15. Sounds like the former Russian republic where the newly elected president fired the entire police force over issues of corruption on the start of the summer holiday season. The result? Crime went down and traffic accidents were near nill. New police were trained with international assistance.

  16. It’s almost as if communities with mostly decent people don’t need government babysitters hassling them. Almost as if, gasp, free people are able to function.

    Of course, try this in any left leaning populace and it would be chaos overnight.

  17. Unionville… a quiet little town where the 3 S’s are employed.

    What happens in Unionville stays in Unionville (especially the bodies)

    CRIMINALS: Please tattoo a return mailing address on your left forearm so we know where to send the body (parts. Mexican drug lord style.)

    ^^^ those as signs positioned into the town would go a long way to them not ever needing a police force. 🙂

  18. Deputize the population of 508, then anytime anywhere there might be someone
    for bad guys to fear. Even if you only could deputize one- third, because the rest under aged, that would be an impressive number.

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