Former Oakley councilman pleased to see federal agents investigate police chief

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OAKLEY (WJRT) (10/6/2017) - Four years ago, controversy bubbled to the surface over Oakley's reserve police force that outnumbered the residents in the village.

Oakley Police Department

On Thursday, federal agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives raided Oakley Police Chief Robert Reznick's home in Gaines Township. They removed an undisclosed number of guns and other items from Reznick's home.

At least one former village councilman said it's about time.

"This whole thing is all about money and guns," said Dennis Bitterman.

Reznick came under scrutiny when it was revealed wealthy individuals and celebrities were able to join Oakley's police force as reserve officers.

The village only has 300 residents but it's police force totaled 350. Documents show Kid Rock had applied to become a reservist, but its not clear if he ever joined the unit.

Bitterman, a bar owner and former village council member, and his family have been critical of Reznick and his tactics for years.

"It's a long time coming," Bitterman said. "This scam should have been stopped five or six years ago when this stuff came out."

There have been several lawsuits, bickering at village council meetings.
<(Dennis)10:58:17
(Terry)
(Dennis)10:57:11
(Terry)Bitterman says the Oakley reserve unit was nothing more than a pay to be a cop operation, where the wealthy would make donations to Oakley and in return get police badges and other privileges. Because of the controversy, a law was passed last year to give the state oversight on minimum standards for reserve police forces. Bitterman says he was disappointed it took this long for the government to visit Reznick's home.
(Dennis)10:57:42 All this money coming in and no track of where its going, they used all of the village resources to protect this scheme, there are only four or five people in this town that promote this.
(Terry)We attempted to reach the village council members who have been in favor of Reznick to get their reaction to the raid, but we could not reach them for comment.