The millage to fund the Gaines Township Police Department has failed. The chief walked out the door, handing out the results with 594 yes votes and 1,223 no.
That means the township board is expected to tell Chief Mark Schmitzer to shut the department down due to lack of funding. His officers turned in their gear April 1.
This millage was the sole funding for the department and would have given the officers their jobs back. State police will take over the calls.
Schmitzer is devastated.
“I’m hurt and I’m mad because my guys and I, we worked for practically nothing out there. No benefits of any kind, worked hours we didn’t get paid for. And it didn’t seem to matter,” Schmitzer said.
Schmitzer had worked in Gaines Township for a decade and he is now with Corunna Police. Shutting down the Gaines Township department will take 30 to 90 days once he’s given the order.
“The few cases we have open and in the courts, we’ll have somebody serve the subpoenas. The township has agreed to pay the officers for their time in court. That’s it. We have no open cases,” Schmitzer said.