Fenton Township On-Budget Sheriff’s Office | News for Fenton, Linden, Holly MI

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office used just over half of the projected budget indicated in the contract with Fenton Township in the middle of the fiscal year.

Sheriff Chris Swanson made a presentation Tuesday, April 5 at the Fenton Township Board of Directors meeting. The GCSO maintains nine contracts with municipalities, schools, hospitals and other organizations in the county.

The Fenton Township/GCSO contract has been in place since the mid-1990s. The agreement from January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2022 stipulates that the base cost of these services shall not exceed $782,811 for the first calendar year.

The funds pay for the labor of five full-time deputies and 60% of a detective sergeant to provide patrol and investigative services.

Halfway through the year, the GCSO is at 51.30% of the estimated budget.

Swanson said there was “no wasted money” and they tracked him weekly. This includes payroll costs, social security, overtime, longevity, retirement costs, workers compensation and more.

“I think it’s a really good deal,” he said. “When you look at what you get, you get full-time policing for a lot less than most people pay for their full-time policing.”

The fiscal year started in September. In the past six months, the GCSO has responded to 1,181 calls from police in Fenton Township alone. Of those 1,181 calls, 249 were traffic stops, 205 traffic warnings, 54 traffic tickets and 94 medical calls.

Swanson referenced medical calls and said the sheriff’s office is different from other agencies. For calls from Fenton Township, they send a deputy from their paramedic division as well as a deputy from Fenton Township.

He said Fenton Township Administrator Mark Goupil, who is a retired sheriff’s office deputy and licensed paramedic, was one of Swanson’s paramedic instructors.

Fenton Township attorney Jack Belzer praised Swanson and the GCSO.

Supervisor Vince Lorraine said he considered Swanson a “friend” and appreciated him reporting in person.

“I raised my family here. I have been here for three and a half decades and consider it a safe place. I think the sheriff’s department under your leadership and your previous leadership has done an amazing job for the residents of Fenton Township,” Lorraine said.

Swanson also provided an update on Petar Pejic, a Florida man the GCSO arrested at Metro Detroit Airport. They broadcast the arrest live on Facebook in February.

Pejic reportedly traveled to the Flint area in February and used the Discord app to groom a 12-year-old girl. He convinced her to jump out the window at night and meet him at a hotel. Swanson said he picked her up from a church, took her to the Baymont Inn in Mt. Morris Township, perpetrated an act against her, and then dropped her off alone in a parking lot.

She is one of the multiple victims.

He faces 12 counts, including first-degree criminal sexual conduct charges, possession of child sexually abusive material and using a computer to commit a crime.

Swanson said he could face further charges

After video of the arrest in Detroit surfaced online, a 15-year-old west coast victim came forward. They’re working on this case with an agency in Washington. Swanson talked about the benefits of working with other agencies.

“I’m proud to say that we’re going to hold this guy accountable. Other states are going to hold him accountable,” he said.

The GCSO operates the Genesee Human Oppression Strike Team (GHOST), which apprehends child predators.

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