September 2, 2014

Standish Township verbally commits to STING

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STANDISH TOWNSHIP — If other municipalities in Arenac County are interested in receiving law enforcement protection from STING (Strike Team Investigative Narcotics Group), count Standish Township in.

In a meeting last month, the Standish Township Board verbally committed to join STING, which would provide an officer in the county aimed at ending drug crimes. Prior to the board committing to STING, Michigan State Police First Lieutenant Robert Lesneski made a presentation on the program before the board.

“I would challenge anybody in Arenac County. … I would ask ‘How many people in Arenac County have been touched by drugs?’” Lesneski said. “I would think the majority of them would raise their hands.”

Standish Township Supervisor Curt Hillman says the commitment, if other municipalities joined, would cost approximately $3,500 per year, or $1.75 per Standish Township resident per year.

“It’s a per capita thing. … If other entities and governmental units decide to join, then we will ante up the money as well,” Hillman said. “It’s a conditional donation to STING if they could get other people involved.”

Lesneski says he has been stumping hard to get more people on board.

“I talked with Sims Township… and they have voiced support,” he said. “I’ve got a meeting coming up with the Arenac County (Chapter of) Michigan Township Association.”

Currently Lesneski said, Iosco County, Ogemaw County, Roscommon County and Oscoda County all participate in STING, as the law enforcement agencies located in those counties works hand in hand with STING personnel.

“The team work,” Lesneski said. “It’s the only proactive thing we can do in our community to combat the drug problem.”

The first lieutenant also says Arenac County participated in STING in the past, but pulled out of the program.

“There’s a lot of baggage that preceded me. … There’s healthy skepticism about what we can and can’t do,” Lesneski said. “That’s all behind us. … I didn’t participate in it.

“This is a transparent team.”

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