3/3/2007Michigan Cops Use Radar to Save Gas
Facing a $3 million budget crisis, Michigan State Police must use stationary radar traps instead of patrolling to raise revenue and save money.
On February 14, the Michigan State Police ordered troopers to cut back on patrolling the highways because of the cost of gas. Instead, troopers are being encouraged to set up stationary speed traps to boost state revenue. The force must save or raise a total of $2 million by October 1 to meet state budget targets.
"We're still responding to emergency runs like crashes, but we're not patrolling as actively," State Police Lieutenant Roderick Williams told the Detroit Free Press newspaper. "We're making every effort to reduce our mileage and save gas."
The average price of regular gas to Michigan consumers is $2.52, up from $2.42 at the same time last year. With troopers driving an average of 35 million miles each year, the small price increase has a large impact on the department's budget, which is currently headed toward a $3.1 million deficit. In Jackson, the Free Press reports troopers on the morning shift may only drive about 50 miles while night-shift troopers are limited to 100 miles.
To enforce the budget targets, Governor Jennifer Granholm (D) is also threatening to fire 30 state troopers unless the state legislature imposes a two-percent tax hike on services to fund increased spending.