Michigan sheriff says deputies will respond to non-urgent calls over the phone due to gas prices

The department says it has run out of budget to pay for fuel as prices continue to surge.

Updated: June 9, 2022 - 4:56pm

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A sheriff's department in Michigan says prohibitively high gas prices have forced the agency to reassess the way in which it handles non-urgent calls.

The Isabella County Sheriff's Office, in central Michigan, announced via Facebook post this week that because of the higher fuel costs, it has requested that deputies manage the calls that they are able to over the phone.

The post, written by Sheriff Michael Main, reads, "Isabella County Sheriff’s Office is feeling the pain at the pump as well. We have exhausted what funds were budgeted for fuel with several months to go before the budget reset.

"I have instructed the deputies to attempt to manage whatever calls are acceptable over the phone. This would be non-in-progress calls, non-life-threatening calls, calls that do not require evidence collection or documentation.

"Deputies will continue to provide patrols to all areas of the county, they will respond to those calls that need to be managed in person. Any call that is in progress with active suspects will involve a response by the deputies. I want to assure the community that safety is our primary goal, and we will continue to respond to those types of calls."

The current national average per gallon of gas is $4.97, though that figure rises nearly every day. According to AAA data, the average price a gallon in Michigan is $5.21 – the price one year ago was $3.01. In Isabella County, the average price is $5.18 – one year ago it was $2.91.