Gas prices reached a record $5.19 a gallon in Isabella County, Michigan, this week, leaving Isabella County Sheriff’s Office only one choice, to answer non-in-progress calls by phone.
Sheriff Michael Main explained the situation in a Facebook post, which revealed the Isabella County Sheriff’s Office had exhausted its fuel budget for the fiscal year due to rising fuel prices. “I have instructed deputies to try to manage whatever calls are acceptable over the phone. This would be non-in-progress calls, non-life-threatening calls, calls that do not require evidence collection or documentation,” wrote the Sheriff. “Isabella County Sheriff’s Office is also feeling the pain at the pump. We have exhausted what funds were budgeted for fuel several months before the budget resets. Deputies will continue to provide patrols to all areas of the county and respond to those calls that need to be managed in person. Any call in progress with active suspects will involve a response by the deputies. I want to assure the community that safety is our primary goal. We will continue to respond to those types of calls.”
Law enforcement across the country is feeling the pain at the gas pumps. Many departments see a drastic increase in costs. The national average on Monday was an incredible $4.87 per gallon, with the expectation that the national average could hit well above $5. Oil prices continue to increase even with OPEC announcing plans to ramp up production. In a day and age of razor-thin budgets, calls to defund police, and an increase in crime rates, it is becoming harder and harder for agencies to keep an initiative-taking approach to policing their communities.