Criminal study to delve into various operations within county

ALPENA — An in-depth study of police and court operations and facilities in Alpena likely will be taking place in a few weeks. The study will provide an outline of operations, procedures, statistics and facilities.

During the Alpena County Board of Commissioners Finance Committee meeting Wednesday, the commissioners voted to recommend that $28,000 be transferred from the base security equity fund to the sheriff’s budget to pay for the assessment.

Sheriff Steve Kieliszewski said having an assessment done is something that has been considered for some time and the time is right to do it. He said there will be a lot involved and the data will help shape the future of the justice system in the county. He said some aspects of the assessment will include the number of sentenced and non-sentenced individuals and what can be done to control population issues at the jail that occur from time to time.

“It will be a comprehensive study and we will be able to see what we are doing right and where we have room for improvement,” Kieliszewski said.

The county has received a memorandum of understanding from an unnamed Michigan company that is interested in doing the work. Kieliszewski said the letter outlines the scope of service and it is being reviewed by Prosecutor Ed Black.

There has been some action taken by the board, which has started re-examining how badly a new jail is needed. An ad hoc committee has been set up to examine the possibility of a new jail and how it can be funded.

Kieliszewski said even though the jail will be studied and its condition outlined, the results of the study will not be the deciding factor if a new jail is built or not.

“This is not about a new jail or one being built. I want to make that clear,” he said.

If the memorandum of understanding is approved by the contractor and county, the board of commissioners will need to approve moving forward with the study. Kieliszewski said he hopes the board will be able to vote at the next meeting at its meeting on May 30. He said there could be a team working on the study the same day.

Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at sschulwitz@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter ss_alpenanews.