Traverse City Record-Eagle


January 11, 2013

Another View: Jail dollars evidence of cooperation

For years now, leaders from all over the mid-Michigan area have been talking about the positives of regional cooperation, but none is more successful than the partnerships between law enforcement officials.

Evidence of this was published ... when the Midland County sheriff's office reported that it will have brought in nearly $2 million in revenue from housing inmates from the surrounding areas.

Officials promised when the new 274-bed jail was completed in 2010 that they would use the portion of the jail not set aside for Midland County inmates to house inmates from the surrounding area, and they have kept their promise, increasing the amount of money that goes to the Midland County general fund each year the jail has been open.

Plans were put into place to house the inmates by then Sheriff Jerry Nielsen and then jail administrator and now Sheriff Scott Stephenson. The inmates are coming from the Midland Department of Corrections, U.S. Marshals office, and Genesee, Isabella and Tuscola counties.

While kudos for the success of the jail go to more than Nielsen and Stephenson, without their vigilance we don't believe these partnerships would be so successful.

"We've been running right about 140 to 150 (inmates housed in from elsewhere), somewhere in that range," Nielsen said. "It's a lot of work, a lot of cooperation and a lot of working with other agencies. If it wasn't for the partnership that we developed, it wouldn't happen."

We believe that to be true, and we tip our hat to them.

Midland Daily News

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