Police reservists say they fear Islamic terrorists

OAKLEY (AP) — Police reservists in a central Michigan village have sued to keep their names secret, saying they could become targets of Islamic extremists if officials publicly identify them.

Members of the Oakley village police department’s reserve have asked a Saginaw County circuit judge to block officials from publicly disclosing their names in response to a state Freedom of Information Act request, The Saginaw News reported.

The 2010 U.S. Census counted 290 residents in Oakley, yet has 100 reserve police officers from around the state. Opponents say such a large force is unnecessary in the community, which is about 75 miles northwest of Detroit, while supporters say the payments that reservists from around Michigan make to maintain their police credentials help finance public safety.

This fall, the village council voted to abolish its police department and turn law enforcement duties over to the county sheriff’s department. The council reversed the decision after police department supporters won seats in the Nov. 4 election.

In the suit, three unnamed reservists say releasing their names would violate their privacy and would endanger them and their families.

“The FBI and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security ... have warned that those identified as U.S. law enforcement officers should consider themselves as targets of Islamic terrorists,” the complaint said. “Release of their names ... would put targets on their backs.”

The Associated Press left a phone message seeking comment from village officials Monday afternoon.

The suit was filed Oct. 24 and has been assigned to Judge Robert Kaczmerek.