TC Police Dept Close Downtown Office

Downtown Traverse City will no longer have a dedicated police officer like its used to. The Traverse City Police Department decided to close its downtown sector office located in the Convention and Visitors Bureau. Road officers will still patrol and respond to calls downtown, but a community officer will no longer be stationed there. The downtown officer was responsible for building relationships with business owners and regularly attended downtown association meetings. “That's what you lose is the proactiveness, the relationship, and that person dedicated to that area,” says Captain Steve Morgan. Morgan says the change comes down to resources, manpower, and a consistent increase in calls for service. In 2009, Traverse City road officers responded to more than 25-thousand calls, up a few thousand from the previous year. “We have a great city to live in, it's a safe place,” says Morgan. “And because of that, the population around us continues to grow and everybody that lives around Traverse City comes into Traverse City.” Business owners we talked to have mixed feelings about losing the downtown officer. “We do lose that connected person,” says Kay Jerome, Owner of Kay's on Front Street. Jerome also sits on the board of the Downtown Traverse City Association, where she regularly saw the downtown officer. She says she'll miss the comfort of having a dedicated downtown officer but she feels confident other road officers can handle any issues that may come up. 9&10's Ryan Raiche and Photojournalist Jeremy Erickson have the story.