Police and fire chiefs support 911 surcharge


Tecumseh Police Chief Troy Stern and Tecumseh Fire Chief Joe Tuckey gave a joint presentation at the February 15 city council meeting voicing support for the 911 surcharge, which is on the May 3 ballot.

Stern and Tuckey noted that the Lenawee County Dispatch Center is under strain from numerous challenges, including increased transmission volumes, antiquated equipment and infrastructure and steadily increasing expenses.

Technology upgrades needed for the center are estimated to cost $4.3 million, funding that the center does not have regardless of the current $1.18 surcharge. These equipment improvements will include re-placing the current telephone system with a next-generation system that is able to receive text messages and photographs from a citizen on-scene, radio console upgrades and purchase of mobile and portable radios for all county first responders.

Stern said problems with aging equipment have led to dispatchers being unable to communicate with responders when incidents arise. “It hasn’t been a mismanagement of funds,” Stern said. “In fact, I think they’ve done a very good job with the funds they have, but we can’t fix this any longer.”

The dispatch center took approximately one million calls in 2015. Only three dispatch officers were available to handle the call volume. Next-generation public safety systems will be mandated by the state in the future, however, the state government has not provided funding to make the mandates possible, according to Stern and Tuckey.

The cost of the surcharge would be $3 monthly per phone line. Total cost would amount to $36 per year per device, a cost of $0.06 a day. Presently, the Lenawee County Dispatch Center has released a Five-Year Improvement Plan, explaining the future needs of the center, current financial status, and a time-table implementation strategy that plans for a favorable vote from Lenawee County residents.

“We encourage everyone to get out and vote. That’s the most important thing for us,” Stern said.

In other city council news:

• Tecumseh Middle School students Laslo Phillips, Nathan Marsh, Peyton Cornack and Noah Kormos were thanked by council and given a certificate of appreciation for building a bridge at Indian Trails Crossing Park through the eCyber-Mission competition, a web-based science, technology, engineering and mathematics competition for students in sixth through ninth grade. Phillips did not attend the meeting.

• Council voted unanimously to amend the streetlight agreement with Consumers Energy to provide an additional light on North Evans Street, near 3 Dudes and Dinner, north of the Evans Creek bridge.

City manager Dan Swallow said business owners were concerned about the lack of lighting outside their location for pedestrians walking during the nighttime. “There’s a gap in the street lights in this particular area,” Swallow said. “I asked Tim Bock as well as Chief Stern to look at this area, and they agreed it would be favorable to add more lighting to improve safety.”

The installation cost would be $202, paid for by the business owners. The city would be responsible for a $8.55 monthly maintenance cost, which would be integrated into the current lighting contract with Consumers Energy.

• Council member Gayle Keiser congratulated Stern on a successful police department social at Sal’s Italian Restaurant on February 9, which was well attended. “I think this is a wonderful gesture in terms of getting the public’s ideas on how law enforcement is related to their everyday lives,” Keiser said.


Tecumseh Herald


110 E. Logan St.
P.O. Box 218
Tecumseh, MI 49286

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