State investigating local police department - WNEM TV 5

State investigating local police department

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OAKLEY, MI (WNEM) -

On Tuesday, TV5 learned another chapter in the saga that has unfolded in the village of Oakley this year, a state investigation into the village police department.

"I don't believe the state's going to walk in unless they see something. There must be a reason why they're here," said Francis Koski, an Oakley village trustee.

The Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards, known as MCOLES, will be heading the investigation. We don't know what led to the investigation, but MCOLES will try to determine if there have been any violations of state statutes, which includes taking a closer look at Oakley's reserve police force.

"I think it's definitely needed, without any doubt, we need somebody to step in here and look over things," said Oakley resident Gene Lawson.

A TV5 I-Team report first looked into the reserve police force back in April, and found the force and department under scrutiny. In the small town of 300, Chief Rob Reznick has formed a reserve force of at least 100 officers. The department allows the reserve offices to carry a gun if they have the proper CPL permits and the required training. Reznick acknowledged that many of the reserve officers donate money to his department. One reserve officer told us he gave the department $1,000.

"I am one of the leaders and I actually have no names of any reservists that I could give you," said Koski. "I think a lot of it has to do with the police department, they've been making their own money by selling these badges."

Koski has been outspoken about this department. He hopes the investigation sheds light on what's happening inside.

"A $500 a month salary for a police chief and we have this many problems in a town of just under 300 people, the math don't add up very well," said Koski.

But Reznick, who didn't want to go on camera Tuesday night, provided this statement:

"We welcome any investigation and will cooperate fully. I will reiterate we have nothing to hide and have done absolutely nothing wrong," Reznick said.

MCOLES told TV5 the state's attorney general is also investigating the case. TV5 called the AG's office and they had no comment.

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