Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Strong police showing at McClendon hearing
Did you notice all the police officers around the Saugatuck High School gym during last Wednesday’s hearing on the proposed settlement in the lawsuit between Saugatuck Township and Aubrey McClendon?
There were six Saugatuck-Douglas Police Department officers and three Michigan State Police troopers to watch over about 150 people. That’s an officer for almost every 17 people.
Saugatuck-Douglas Chief Ken Giles plans to bill the township for his officers’ time. The township has not received the bill yet.
Law enforcement presence at the July 22 public hearing on the first settlement proposal cost more than $1,400. The township and McClendon split the bill, paying $710.46 each for the protection.
Meetings over the lawsuit have gotten rowdy in the past.
Police shut down a meeting on July 18 due to overcrowding and one man was arrested for disorderly conduct. Saugatuck Douglas Police Department officers also monitored a meeting at the high school library March 5 that was attended by more than 100 people.
Michigan State Police stepped into a standing-room-only meeting last March when protesters honked car horns outside the township hall. Troopers searched the hall in May after a bomb threat was made against the township board and attorneys. Nothing was found.
And the rumors about a bomb-sniffing dog going through the high school before last week’s meeting? Not true, Giles said.