Police fees anger Mid-Michigan woman - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Police fees anger Mid-Michigan woman

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(02/22/13) - A Mid-Michigan woman is upset about a bill she received from a police department for its help at an accident scene. But the chief of that department says it's a growing trend as government agencies look for new sources of revenue.

The bill was for $307.

"I was so shocked," said Gwyn Dyka of Flushing Township.

That was her reaction when she received a bill in the mail for services rendered by the Mt. Morris Township Police Department.

"It made me think, 'You know what? I wonder if this is a scam,'" Dyka said.

But it's legitimate. On Dec. 22, Dyka's 17-year-old daughter Andrea was involved in a traffic accident on the border of Mt. Morris Township and the city of Flushing.

The teenager was northbound on Elms on the Mt. Morris Township side of the road. She was approaching the stop light at Pierson when the car in front of her stopped abruptly and she hit it in the rear end.

"Our car ended up underneath his bumper," Dyka said.

Mt. Morris Township Police handled the accident and Andrea was found to have been at fault.

"About two weeks later, I received this bill," Dyka said.

Just over a year ago, Mt. Morris Township officials approved a new policy that allows the police department to bill for their time at some accident scenes.

"If you're a non-resident and you're at fault in the accident, then your insurance company will be charged for the police services," said Scott McKenna, Mt. Morris Township Police Chief.

Because the Dyka family never filed an insurance claim, the bill went to them. McKenna says the policy was necessary because too often his police officers are busy with crashes on I-75 and I-475.

"Now I have residents that are paying for us to be out here that have no police service because I have every car tied up on an accident that was created by a non-resident that isn't paying any taxes to the township," McKenna said.

McKenna says billing for police services is common in Metro Detroit and is being considered by other Mid-Michigan police departments. He estimates the billing program has generated $30,000 in new revenue.

Billing is handled by Cost Recovery Corp. based in Ohio.

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