Ordinary Americans aren’t the only ones feeling the squeeze from the record high prices of gasoline. With over three months to go before the end of their fiscal year, the Isabella County Sheriff’s Office in central Michigan has already exhausted their entire fuel budget.
According to WDIV-TV, in a now-deleted June Facebook post, Sheriff Michael Main wrote: “We have exhausted what funds were budgeted for fuel with several months to go before the budget reset.
“I have instructed the deputies to attempt to manage whatever calls are acceptable over the phone. This would be non-in-progress calls, non-life-threatening calls, calls that do not require evidence collection or documentation.”
Main assured residents, however, that deputies would continue to respond to all calls that “need to be managed in person.” This would include “any call that is in progress with active suspects.”
He concluded with an assurance to “the community that safety is our primary goal, and we will continue to respond to those types of calls.”
The surge of gas prices is now affecting local law enforcement. Tuesday night, the Isabella County Sheriff’s Office announced they exhausted all their fuel funds with a few months left until their budget resets. https://t.co/KSRs1xMm1E
— WNEM TV5 (@WNEMTV5news) June 9, 2022
According to motoring and leisure travel organization AAA, the average price of a gallon of regular gas in the state of Michigan as of June 12 stands at $5.22, well above the national average of $5.01.
Although it’s likely that a fair share of 911 calls are routine in nature, it’s disconcerting that a 911 operator will now be tasked with assessing the urgency of a situation. A wrong call by the individual who happens to pick up the phone could lead to disaster.
Recall the poor judgment of the Erie County, New York, dispatcher who hung up on a Tops supermarket employee during the deadly May 14 massacre.
Not only have astronomical prices at the pump forced consumers to cut back on fuel consumption, they are now impacting the operational ability of emergency services. President Joe Biden and his minions can rail all they want about “Putin’s price hike,” but the reality is this administration’s war on the fossil fuel industry, which began just hours after his inauguration, is responsible for a hefty part of the rise in price.
Joe Biden is blaming Russia’s war in Ukraine for continued inflation in US that has now hit 8.6%, the highest in 40yrs.
He calls it “Putin price hike”.
Joe Biden: See, it’s all Putin’s fault???
— Tony Gitonga (@TonyMurega) June 12, 2022
It’s one thing for a person to cancel their vacation plans due to the high price of gas, but when prices reach a level where they can potentially jeopardize the safety of American citizens, that’s an entirely different ballgame.
Moreover, if the Isabella County Sheriff’s Office has exhausted their annual budget for fuel, chances are other law enforcement agencies are finding themselves in the same position.
In addition to some Americans being forced to choose between putting food on their tables or filling their tanks with gasoline, will the prohibitive cost of fuel contribute to an increase in the already elevated crime rates now plaguing cities across the country?
According to CNBC, in a May 20 report, investment bank JPMorgan Chase & Co. forecast the national average price for a gallon of gas could reach $6 by the end of the summer. If Americans are already feeling the strain, how much worse will the situation become?
By itself, a deleted Facebook post by a nervous sheriff in Michigan is not a reason to push the panic button. But it’s not crazy to think we’ll hear similar reports in the not too distant future.
Last week, the always-amusing Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy, a Republican, had harsh words for the Biden administration during an interview with Fox News’ Jesse Watters. Regarding the price of gas, Kennedy said, “Meanwhile, I don’t know about where you live, Jesse, but in my state, the price of gas is so high that it would be cheaper to buy cocaine and just run everywhere.”
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