Kid Rock Applies to Michigan Town’s Police Force, Town Implodes
The backstory is long so I'll do my best to summarize. And because I can't help myself, I'll also add my unsolicited opinions.
The police chief in Oakley, a village of less than 300 people situated just northwest of Owosso, decided to create a "reserve police force." Joining the reserve force wasn't difficult -- no police academy, no formal police training outside your standard CPL; it'd just cost you. So, a hundred or so people made their donations and joined the force.
Somewhere along the way this became a problem. Personally, I don't see the issue and applaud the inventive manner in which the chief chose to raise funds for the village.
Lawsuits were filed and people wanted to know WHO these reservists were.
The chief declined to release the names citing privacy. I don't buy the privacy argument and can't fathom the issue with releasing the names. But, a judge agreed with the chief.
But then the village lost its insurance because of the lawsuits against the police department, so the village decided to shut down the police force completely.
From 100 to Zero
Except -- hold the phone -- thanks to all that money collected by police reservists, the chief bought his own insurance policy. Lol. This guy is awesome. This should totally be the plot of an upcoming episode of Longmire. (Best show ever!)
Then some members of the village council really got mad because they weren't consulted on the new insurance policy and the police force being reinstated, despite the village President having approved the move. Uh, I believe on Capitol Hill they call that an "Executive Order."
Enter the attorney. Wah wah.
I don't know what this guy's horse in the race is but he's been all up in this for a while; calling for the chief's arrest and suing because the department is "operating illegally."
Apparently a judge agreed that the department should not have been reactivated without the approval of the full council, but declined to issue a bench warrant for the chief.
Anyway, fast forward to now -- the attorney is owed $19,000 and that judge has ordered the village to pay it. Except they can't, because, they're a village of less than 300 people, and they've been embroiled in litigation and buying up insurance policies.
Dang -- it sure would be nice to have some kind of alternate stream of income that could take care of something like this. Oh, wait...
On the upside, there is at least one person with a stash of cash and a vested interest in the Village of Oakley; Michigan rocker, Kid Rock. Or, should I say, Officer Rock.
That's right, among the names on the list of reservist officers that was finally released is none other than Bob Ritchie. It's actually unclear if he ever became a full-fledged reservist, but one thing is certain, he applied.
"There are real questions of public importance as to why and how the Village of Oakley Police Chief would come into contact with such an international rock star and why this international rock star would have any legitimate interest in such volunteer activities such as cooking hot dogs at community events or inspecting Halloween candy."
Really? 'Questions of public importance?' This is what the attorney said to the judge on Monday when he asked to be able to release part of Kid Rock's actual application. Tell me more about these 'questions of public importance' and how releasing this information will enlighten us. Is it possible that, as the rumor goes, Kid Rock's uncle suggested he join the force? And if that's the case --- um, who cares? Or maybe the chief won backstage passes to a Kid Rock show from his favorite radio station in Lansing and happened to mention to Bob about this "neat thing happening" in Oakley. Again, who cares? What difference does it make how Kid Rock became aware of the unique investment opportunity that the Village of Oakley presented.
But I digress...
Now someone, somewhere has suggested Kid Rock play a special concert to help raise money for the village. (If this happens -- guaranteed -- that attorney is in the front row. Smdh...)
I remember going out to the Old Gas Tractor Show in Oakley -- there's a nice field that can accommodate a few hundred folks. Or, ya know, the entire population of the village.
Maybe there is some merit to this idea...
As a quick sidebar: I saw Kid Rock live many years ago in Indiana and I was absolutely blown away. Truly. Immensely talented. I'm sure he would have made a great cop too, just like Longmire...
So, as far as I can tell right now, Oakley is back to having no police department and no money. But hey, if Kid Rock declines the proposed "Sorry-I-Wanted-to-Help-Protect-Your-Town-Physically-and-Financially-But-Someone-Complained-And-Now-You-Want-To-Hold-Me-Responsible-For-Your-Town-Being-Vulnerable-And-Broke" benefit concert, Oakley could sell the story with all the exclusive insights and what not. It'd make a great movie or book. Did I mention Longmire?
Want this whole story in a more newsy, less opinionated format? MLive has a good recap.