Iron River mulls police cuts
By NIKKI YOUNK
IRON RIVER – Iron River is considering reducing its police force.
There are currently six full-time officers and one full-time administrative assistant on the Iron River Police Department. Iron River has a population of just over 3,000 people.
Iron River City Manager Perry Franzoi said that the city is just investigating the possibility of reduction at this time. Specifics such as how many officers would be cut and when they would be cut have not been determined, he added.
“We still have a lot of work to do,” Franzoi noted. “There’s a lot up in the air.”
According to Franzoi, the details will have to be worked out in collective bargaining sessions.
It is possible that a decision on the matter could be made in time for the beginning of the city’s fiscal year on July 1, he said.
By that time, the department will already be down one officer.
During a special meeting Wednesday, the Iron River City Council approved the early retirement of officer J.D. Flood.
Franzoi said that Flood will retire effective June 30, which is about 10 months earlier than planned. Flood has been with the department for about 17 years.
Also during the meeting, Iron County Prosecutor Melissa Powell presented council members with a report they requested, which details the arrest warrants issued in Iron County in 2012.
The report indicates that out of the 675 criminal charges issued in the county last year, 232 were for crimes committed in Iron River.
Forgery, uttering and publishing, and larceny were the most common felony charges in the city, while domestic violence, minor in possession of alcohol, and operating with a suspended license were the most common misdemeanor charges.
“The warrants issued don’t even reflect all of the investigations,” Powell explained. “Still, half the warrants issued in the county were in the city of Iron River, and the city police didn’t even handle all of them. Some were requested by the state police and the sheriff’s department.”
Other Iron County municipalities have seen a reduction in their police departments over the past few years.
Due to budget cuts, Crystal Falls eliminated one full-time and three part-time police officer positions in February 2010. There are now two officers on the Crystal Falls Police Department.
Caspian-Gaastra went from two officers to one officer in 2010.
In 2012, there were 75 charges issued for crimes in Crystal Falls, 65 charges issued for crimes in Caspian, and six charges issued for crimes in Gaastra.
Nikki Younk’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.