Calumet chief requests more patrol hours

By GRAHAM JAEHNIG

gjaehnig@mininggazette.com

CALUMET — Calumet Village Police Chief, Gene Thornton, found it necessary this month to request additional patrol hours in order to better serve the needs of the community. He made the request during his report to the village council at its regular monthly meeting.

Thornton, who had been appointed interim police chief by the village council while the process of finding a new chief moves forward, said that because he had only held the position for two weeks, he did not have a report to offer to the council, but promised one for the next month’s meeting. He did say, however, that more hours were needed in order for him to adequately perform his duties to the village.

“I am allowed 30 hours of patrol,” he said, “and I’m wondering if you can extend that to 40. There are 168 hours in a week, and 30 hours is not much to do what I want to do.” He citied statements from the village works manager in reference to overnight parking ban violations as one example. That is one item he said he would like to address.

He cited the CopperDog race as another example, saying he would fulfill his 30-hour weekly patrol limit in just the three days the event went on.

Virginia Dwyer, village trustee, made the motion to increase Thornton’s hours by 10 per week, per his request. The motion was quickly seconded, with the motion passing unanimously.

Dwyer said that after making some phone calls and checking records, for the year 2016, there were 662 complaints in the village of Calumet requiring a police presence, and the village police was only able to respond to 295 of them.

“A year ago to date, Dave Outinen was the police,” Thornton said. “He was 40 hours a week, and he was allowed 40 hours of part-time (help). That’s a big difference between then and now.”

Outinen left the Calumet Village Police Department in 2016 to accept a position with the Hancock City Police Department.

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