Saginaw city council votes to explore potential contract with Sh - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Saginaw city council votes to explore potential contract with Sheriff's Dept

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SAGINAW (WJRT) -

(12/13/12) - Saginaw city council voted to further explore a plan to contract the police department with the sheriff department.

They voted on it at a special meeting Thursday night.

It's an idea they've been exploring for a while, but now they are going to move forward and develop a plan.

The city council will still need to approve or deny that plan.

It's been a hotly debated topic during recent budget discussions.

That meeting started at 6:30 and they didn't take a final vote until after 11 p.m.

The main two topics were finances and public safety.

City leaders predict a deficit of more than $3 million.

In August, Saginaw County Sheriff William Federspiel handed over a proposal at the request of the city. It outlined the cost of a policing contract with Saginaw.

His original proposal was 103 full-time, sworn officers. Assistant City manager for public safety Phil Ludos had a counter offer of 80.

Federspiel told the city "no" to a proposed policing contract.

He said he's not saying "no" to helping the city - he's saying no to policing the city when there's already qualified people to do the job.

The mayor says time is ticking and the council needs to decide what will work for Saginaw.

"We're still at a point where we can't go a whole lot further. We need to decide as a council is that going to be the best approach for us. Is that going to save us enough money in the long term and is it going to deliver us the service that we need delivered," Branch said.

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