Letter to the Editor:
I have read the Letter to the Editor posted by Mike Hikade, the responses provided by Sheriff Mendham, and then the addendum by Mr. Hikade. This letter is meant to provide an additional viewpoint to the concerns presented about the upcoming Sheriff’s Department Road Patrol Millage.
Mike, thank you for participating in the process. I wish it were for altruistic reasons rather than a result of the years long feud between the Newaygo Police Department and the Sheriff's Office. The intensity of your swipes at Sheriff Mendham leave little doubt in my mind.
I am not going to match you stat for stat, but I will say the City of Newaygo TIFA district captures revenue from the current Road Patrol Millage and it will capture more should the issue pass on the ballot.
Mutual aid between all police agencies in Newaygo County takes place on a daily basis. During my years with the Sheriff's Office I do not recall anyone keeping score for who crossed a line to help who. We can bicker all we want, but thankfully the cops on patrol in this county and its cities never hesitate to come to each others' aid.
Mike, equating Newaygo's walkability project to training that may save someone's life is ridiculous. What I find frustrating about your tactics is that it is easy to raise doubt and suspicion and you have done well. What is much harder is to manage the services that provide safety and security to a community that appreciates, but does not understand all the moving parts that make for a good and peaceful place to live.
Sheriff Mendham is a good man and an experienced law enforcement administrator. My support for him is no secret. I walked away from a job I loved during the last administration to prove a point for much needed change and that change occured. Let's now move forward and continue to build on a community that people and businesses will be proud to call home.
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