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      Sheriff's department gives citizens biggest bang for buck

      A northern Michigan sheriff's department has been ranked the most efficient law enforcement agency in the state.

      A northern Michigan sheriff's department has been ranked one of the most efficient law enforcement agency in the state.

      A study done by Western Michigan University identified Chippewa County as the best out more than 177 agencies in OWI enforcement activity while on National Highway Traffic Safety grant funded overtime

      The study was orchestrated by the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning, a division of the Michigan State Police.

      Their goal was to find out which departments are doing the best job at cracking down on drunk driving and seat belt violations with the resources they have.

      "You know it's not a ticket writing campaign, it's a direct force to get drunk drivers off the road and so there is a lot of traffic stops, but there are a lot of warnings given," Undersheriff Mike Bitnar said. "The emphasis is to find the drunk drivers and make the roads safer."

      OHSP teamed up with Western Michigan University. They needed help analyzing data in a way that would level the playing field for rural and urban departments when judging efficiency.

      So researchers created a formula, to figure out who was on top.

      "The formula is pretty complicated but they take the number of traffic stops, the number of arrests, and they put them in this big formula in at the end it just spits out a number," Undersheriff Bitnar said.

      Chippewa County ranked first out of 177 departments when it came to cracking down on drunk drivers.

      An outcome that County Commissioners believe benefit both the taxpayers and the government.

      "I think that it means that they're out there doing their job that they are not overzealous at their job but they are doing community policing," County Administrator Jim German said.