HOLLY, Michigan - Back in the fall of 2006, village voters approved a three year 2- mill special assessment to improve their police services. As of this July, Holly Village residents’ property taxes will be cut by 2-mills. The police services special assessment is no longer being collected from village residents.
The goals of the special assessment were technology improvements, safety and personal protection equipment for police officers, a vehicle fleet maintenance program to reduce operating costs, a few much-needed building renovations, and overhauling the local E911 Communications Center.
The special assessment cost the average homeowner approximately $175 a year which was added to their property tax bill. Over the three years, the special assessment collected a total of $822,703 from village taxpayers for the improvements.
Today, Village Manager Marsha Powers reports that all of the intended goals of the special assessment have been achieved. “The monies collected from the special assessment millage were put to work in the best interests of the taxpayers and village residents,” Powers said.
The police department has implemented a full technology package to improve efficiencies and work quality including in-car digital report writing software, in-car GPS mapping and tracking, digital mug shot and fingerprint systems, digital traffic crash and E-ticket systems as well as an internet based warrant and video arraignment capability.
Safety and protection enhancements
The police department has issued next generation personal body armor to every officer, deployed new non-lethal tools such as the Taser to provide officers with more intermediate force options, replaced the twenty-year old sidearms carried by officers with new duty weapons, and equipped and trained officers to deploy patrol rifles if and when appropriate to save lives.
Fleet Maintenance Program
The police department now operates with fewer vehicles than in the past, a 60 percent reduction in maintenance costs and a 20 percent reduction in fuel consumption (all new police cars have a V6 engine). Vehicles are a basic tool of the law enforcement trade, and the Holly vehicle fleet now meets or exceeds national standards in fitness for police duty.
Building safety and security
Police headquarters received much needed repairs to the roof, sidewalks,and paved areas, built a carport to protect the new fleet investment and installed a comprehensive security system that includes doors, intercoms and CCTV monitoring system.
E911 Dispatch and Call Center
The Holly Dispatch Center is now a premiere facility, having been completely rebuilt from the ground up. The center utilizes state-of-the-art technology to deliver fast, reliable 911 services. The Holly center was first in Michigan to activate ground-breaking 911 technology to deal with cellular and VOIP 911 issues. The facility is an example in the industry, and has been visited by numerous agencies intending on rebuilding their own centers. The new dispatch center capabilities have allowed Holly to improve services and expand the service area. Holly is now the E911 center for Groveland Township.
The taxpayers of Holly made an investment in police services that will pay dividends for many years to come. “I would like to extend my personal gratitude to the residents of the village for their trust and support," Chief of Police Rollie Gackstetter said. 'The dollars were invested wisely and the improvements will serve the community well into the future,” he added. "The dispatch center is now operated by highly trained and qualified personnel that provide the citizens we serve first class service."
Powers agreed."We are proud of our qualified patrol officers and dispatchers, and the service they are able to provide by having updated technology and equipment only possible through the levy of the special assessment,” she said.