It has been discovered that Robert James Ritchie, known as rapper Kid Rock, is listed on a Village of Oakley Police reserve force application.
According to MLive, Ritchie’s application adds to the controversy involving police funding and reserve officers in the village of 300 residents in southern Saginaw County. Including this latest discovery, there are a total of 149 reservists.
Until ordered, the identifications of the reservists had been kept secret by the village. Due to a number of Freedom of Information Act court cases, the information had to be released. The controversy lies in who is a reservist and who has donated tens of thousands of dollars to the Village of Oakley Police fund.
Ritchie’s application was included in a box sent to Hemlock Attorney Philip Ellison after a judge ruled last month that the village had not given enough information to fulfill a FOIA request. Ellison cannot elaborate any further on the application, pending Shiawassee County Circuit Judge Matthew Stewart’s decision on whether or not he can talk about it.
MLive reported that Ellison’s motion asked the judge to allow the part of the “application to become a reserve officer/critical incident response team member for the Village of Oakley reservist Robert James Ritchie” to be released to the public. Ellison acknowledged an earlier order requiring documents be given to him and the court, but not to the public until reviewed and released.
“There are real questions of public importance as to why and how the Village of Oakley Police Chief would come into contact with such an international rock star and why this international rock star would have any legitimate interest in such volunteer activities such as cooking hot dogs at community events or inspecting Halloween candy,” the motion stated, citing previous media interviews with Oakley Police Chief Rob Reznick stating that was one role of reservists.
Ellison has pointed out that access to the records about the reservist program would give residents and the courts the ability to determine if the Village of Oakley police reserve program is a pay-to-play scheme.
While he had heard the rumor that Kid Rock was a reservist many times, Ellison did not necessarily believe it. When he found the application, he admitted he was surprised.
Kid Rock joins the list of famous people associated with the Oakley Police Department’s reserve unit. Several well-known Michigan professionals and Miami Dolphins player Jason Fox are also included in the elite group.