Beyond the Badge: Small town policing in Three Oaks
THREE OAKS, Mich. --- This week’s Beyond the Badge features Three Oaks Police Department, where the officers know everyone in the community.
Three Oaks is a big tourism area with New Buffalo just about 10 minutes away.
Chief Carl Krause is one of two full-time officers, along with two part-time officers, and they cover roughly 30 sq. miles, which includes Three Oaks Township and the Village of Three Oaks.
“I know just about everyone within Three Oaks,” Chief Krause said. “I have a good working relationship with everyone on a first name basis, and, you know, people come to me whenever they have a problem.”
Krause has been Chief for a little over a year and has 18 total years of experience.
“Just like every other town, we have some theft complaints every now and then,” he explained. “We get a domestic violence every now and then, traffic enforcement…it’s just like any other community. We may not get as many of those complaints as other communities, but we do have our thefts and domestics.”
Krause said he decided to put himself through the police academy and serve his community that way.
“I like to see, you know, people smile,” he said. “When we can, you know, help them out whether or not they lock their keys in their car or we can solve a crime that they're a victim of, I mean, it does feel good.”
Whenever there’s any police work involving children, or the elderly, Krause said it can be challenging.
“Law enforcement can be a stressful job,” he said. “You know, we hear and see things that the everyday ordinary citizen doesn't always see and hear. We never know what we're gonna get into. When I walk through the door, I don't always know what happened over the weekend or what my shift is, is going to be like, you know, my phone is always on. Someone needs to get ahold of me, I have an open-door policy.”
Chief Krause is working on organizing some community events with local kids and they’re also looking to bring on one more full-time officer.