Saginaw losing two key employees to retirement - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Saginaw losing two key employees to retirement

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SAGINAW (WJRT) -

(06/26/12) - The city of Saginaw is losing two key employees to retirement in the coming weeks.

Monday night Police Chief Gerald Cliff announced his retirement, effective July 10.

Cliff is leaving Saginaw for Fairmont, West Virginia. That's where he'll become the Research Director for the National White Collar Crime Center.

Cliff, who has a doctoral degree, says it's a chance to use his education to its full potential.

He hopes the people of Saginaw remember him as a firm, fair and professional leader. More importantly, he hopes people believe he made the city safer.

"Crime dropped 51.8 percent in six years. I'm kind of happy with that. And then another 15 percent in 2011," Cliff said about his nearly 7.5 years as Saginaw's top cop.

Cliff's departure comes at a critical time for the city.

"We're in the process of trying to re-look at how we deliver public safety services here in Saginaw," said Phil Ludos, the assistant city manager for public safety.

Ludos is referring to the ongoing talks about the city potentially contracting services through the Saginaw County Sheriff's Department.

Ludos expects the city to hold off searching for a new police chief, while that possibility is being explored.

In the meantime, the deputy police chief will likely become the acting chief.

Just days before Cliff retires, another city employee with close-ties to public safety is saying goodbye as well.

Code Enforcement Specialist Rob Davis is retiring on Thursday. Davis has been with the city for more than 31 years. The last several, he's been part of the code enforcement team called SCENIC.

Davis still remembers the question he asked his first supervisor in Saginaw. "What are we going to do when all the complaints are answered? And he reassured me that would never happen."

That supervisor was right. We interviewed Davis in front of a rundown home on the city's westside. He says it's one of several open cases his co-workers will have to take over when he retires. "Even as we stand on this corner you can see the deteriorated homes," Davis said. "Directly behind you have an obvious result of not being able to have their grass cut the way we're supposed to."

Davis and SCENIC work closely with the police and fire departments.

Back in March, ABC12 was there when three people were arrested during a visit to an illegal body shop. A complaint had been called in to the SCENIC team.

That's not to mention all the empty, rundown homes he's helped get torn down or boarded up before they could be set on fire.

He was also responsible for condemning homes. Something he did with respect. "Always tried to approach people as we were best buddies."

And while you won't see Davis in the little red SCENIC car anymore, you will see someone else. "The other people will be there carrying on with the same mission, and the same focus that we've always had," Davis said.

And a little-known fact about Davis, he kept track of every child impacted by evictions.

Then at Christmas, he went door-to-door dressed as Santa Claus and hand delivered them a present.

There will be a retirement party for Davis on Thursday. It will run from 12-3 p.m. inside Council Chambers at City Hall.

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