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Kalamazoo County Board wants report on Emergency Preparedness

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KALAMAZOO (WKZO) -- The Kalamazoo County Board has requested a report on the activities of the County’s Emergency Manager that may have been spurred by the national debate over the militarization of police agencies.

Commissioner Julie Rogers says she has been asking for a report for a year on their activities and she has gotten very little.

Commissioner John Taylor says he has been concerned for years about the amount of money being spent on emergency preparedness, complaining that that they were wasting money "preparing to protect Gull Lake from terrorists” while day to day necessities like roads and schools have had their funding cut.

Commissioner Jeff Hepler, who sits on the Emergency Management board defended the operation, saying a lot of what they do is behind the scenes, and every time there has been an emergency, the County’s emergency response has been excellent.

County Administrator Peter Battani says there has been downsizing in the office as federal money has dried up, and it may be why the office hasn’t been as visible lately, but they are doing their job.

The inquiry was triggered by the routine acceptance of an annual federal grant for 31-thousand dollars that pays part of the Emergency Manager’s salary. It was approved unanimously despite the debate.

The Commission will get a full report from the Sheriff on just how prepared the county is for emergencies this fall.

 

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