IRON RIVER—Staffing of Iron River’s police department may be reduced to help city officials balance the budget.
At this time, said City Manager Perry Franzoi during a special City Council meeting April 10, the city is just looking at the possibility of reducing the size of the force. No decisions have been made on how many positions would be cut or when they would be made, he said.
“We still have a lot of work to do,” Franzoi said. “There’s a lot up in the air.” Any cuts would have to be worked out in collective bargaining sessions, he noted.
Currently, Iron River has six full-time officers and a full-time administrative assistant. It will lose one officer later this year when officer J.D. Flood retires after 17 years on the department.
Flood had filed for early retirement on June 30, 10 months earlier than planned.
The city’s new fiscal year starts on July 1, and Franzoi said a decision may be made by then.
If Iron River’s police budget is reduced, it certainly won’t be a first in Iron County. The Crystal Falls and Caspian departments have both had to reduce police staffing in recent years.
Also at the meeting, Melissa Weston, county prosecutor, gave the council a report on arrest warrants issued in Iron County during 2012.
Of the 675 criminal charges issued, the report said, 232 (34 percent) were for crimes committed in Iron River, the county’s largest municipality.
The most common felony charges were forgery, uttering and publishing (forged or fraudulent checks) and larceny. The most common misdemeanors were domestic violence, minor in possession of alcohol and driving with a suspended license.
“The warrants issued don’t even reflect all the investigations,” Powell said. “Still, half the warrants issued in the county were in the city of Iron River, and the city police didn’t even handle all of them.”
Other warrants were sought by the State Police and Sheriff’s Department, she said.