Saginaw looks for ways to maintain police numbers - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Saginaw looks for ways to maintain police numbers

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(11/07/12) - City leaders in Saginaw are hoping to work out a public safety plan with the Saginaw County Sheriffs Department. Sheriff William Federspiel has already turned down the option once. City officials hope the second time will be the charm.

Wednesday, Saginaw's Assistant City Manager Phil Ludos spoke with the County Commissioners Public Safety Committee about the proposal.

Ludos says the city is facing more than a $3 million shortfall for the 2013-2014 budget year.

A committee has been put together by Saginaw's City Manager Darnell Early to look into different ways to save money. The proposal discussed Wednesday is one option. Under it, Ludos says the sheriff would take responsibility for the city police, which would be about 80 officers.

Ludos says the plan would model one that is already working in Oakland County, and could save the city about $5 million. Sheriff Federspiel says he has only heard from Early and Ludos about the plan, and he will not consider it until he knows the community approves it.

County Commissioners say they were not given enough information to consider the proposal Wednesday. They have not ruled it out, but say Ludos must return with more information so they can consider it.

Ludos says if an agreement is not made with the county by the end of this budget year, the city does have a few other options. One includes reducing the police department to 55 officers, and the city's fire department down to 35 firefighters and cross training both departments.

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