Study: Michigan police officers most overworked in country - WNEM TV 5

Study: Michigan police officers most overworked in country

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SAGINAW TOWNSHIP, MI (WNEM) -

Michigan police top the list of the most overworked officers.

In the latest count, Michigan employs just under 23,200 officers. That's one officer for every 350 residents.

More than 630,000 crimes were reported in the state in 2014. That's an average of 28 crimes per officer, the highest of all states.

Aside from patrolling the streets, officers also spend days in court and hours doing paperwork.

"There is a need for officers to be out patrolling and helping citizens during emergency situations," Saginaw Township Police Chief Don Pussehl said.

The home security group SafeWise said there's not enough officers in Michigan to deal with the amount of crime generated.

Pussehl said even more recent numbers from state officials verify there just aren't as many police officers in Michigan this year as there were in 2001. The number has decreased by more than 4,000.

"And with fewer officers, sometimes there's a delay in reaching those citizens and helping them in their time of need," Pussehl said.

That is frustrating for the chief and other officers across the state.

"If there are calls stacked up and we have to take by prioritizing calls, sometimes citizens may have to wait a while," he said.

The Saginaw Township Police Department has found a community policing program involving the department, residents and businesses has helped prevent crime from happening there.

"We encourage you to get to know your neighbor and to communicate with your neighbor. And if you're gone maybe your neighbor will watch your home for you while your gone. If they're gone, you'll watch their home for them," Pussehl said.

To see the full report from SafeWise, click here

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