Pontiac crime down since Oakland County Sheriff took over

Response time is better, crime is down in Pontiac since contracting with Sheriff's Department

PONTIAC, Mich. – One of the changes made during Pontiac's time under a state-appointed emergency manager was to disband the city's police department and contract with the Oakland County Sheriff's Department.

"There was a 76-minute response time when somebody called 911 and that's if they responded at all. And it's no knock on the Pontiac Police Department but it had been cut so drastically and they were doing the best they could," said Undersheriff Mike McCabe.

The change has meant more police presence and has given residents more reason to pick up the phone when crime happens.

"You had people before, quite honestly, in Pontiac that were not calling the police because their response is, 'What good is this?" said Oakland County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Paul Walton.

Kristy Peters was out on Tuesday night with her kids, something she wouldn't have done a few years ago in downtown Pontiac. However, now she feels safe.

"Yeah I do. I mean I wouldn't stay out super late at night by myself, but yeah I do feel better about it than I did 4 or 5 years ago," she said.

The numbers are impressive. Since the Oakland County Sheriff took over in Pontiac, homicide is down 22 percent, robbery is down 25 percent and assault is down 38 percent.

"You look at the statistics and you look at a county where people can feel relatively safe," said Prosecutor Jessica Cooper.

"Response times are now under 9 minutes on 911 calls," said McCabe.

It has made life in the Prosecutor's Office busier, but the city of Pontiac much safer.

"Bring it on. We'll process it. We'll do what needs to be done because that's our duty," said Cooper.

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