Saginaw mayor says police cuts could be avoided - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Saginaw mayor says police cuts could be avoided

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(02/19/13) - Tuesday, the Saginaw mayor is saying he believes the city can avoid the public safety cuts they've been debating for months.

This evening, a community meeting was held to figure out how to save money and police officer's jobs.

"That's what the union leadership is working on right now, how can we cut costs," Mayor Greg Branch said.

Saginaw's mayor is confident the city can avoid public safety cuts. He says police and fire unions are looking at different options, from changing the shift structure to early retirement.

"I am honestly assuming that we're not going to have to because I don't think this city can survive with this level of staffing," he said.

This came out at a meeting of the minds. Various neighborhood associations met to brainstorm ideas on how to save public safety. And there were plenty of questions, especially about the city manager's plan to merge the police department with the sheriff department.
A few ideas were thrown around, such as forming a community committee, or even setting up collection canisters at gas stations. But one thing is clear: no one here wants to see their officers cut.

"If we have a problem, we like to depend on them, we pay our taxes, that's why we pay for them, we need protection from the police and also support, and we need these officers and also fire department," said Jose Barajas, president of the Southwest Neighborhood Association.

The city has said, if no solution is reached by July 1, 20 jobs will be cut.

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