Sheriff Lays Out Plan If Cuts Come To Department 9-09-2010 - WNEM TV 5

Sheriff Lays Out Plan If Cuts Come To Department 9-09-2010

A budget deficit could lead to cuts in a local sheriff's department. Saginaw County is bracing to lose millions of dollars, and the jobs that go along with it.
But Saginaw County Sheriff Bill Federspiel thinks he may have a solution, one that could save those jobs.
Deputy Paul McDonald has been with the Saginaw County Sheriff's Department for less then a year.
But McDonald, along with 15 other deputies, could lose his job come Oct. 1, due to a $6.6. million shortfall in Saginaw County.
He said he knows this could cause him and other deputies to lose their jobs. "If any of our officers go, myself included, I think that just diminishes the public safety for the good people of Saginaw County," said McDonald. "I think people have to remember, that's first and foremost on everyone's mind here."
Federspiel said cutting 15 deputies from his department would also cut into public safety.
He said he's shown county commissioners pictures of some of the accident scenes his road patrol has worked this year and the lives they've saved. Federspiel said if he has to cut those jobs, lies could be lost.
"These are graphic pictures, but I want our commissioners to understand that it's not just about locking up the bad guys," said Federspiel.
The sheriff said losing 15 deputies from on road patrol would endanger public safety. So, instead of reducing road deputies, Federspiel said he would look at cutting the size of the jail.
"I'll be left with two choices," said Federspiel. "To either reduce the road patrol to almost nothing, or reduce the size of the jail from 513 beds to 360 beds."
And deputies who work in the jail said they know their job could be on the line too.
"I believe the commissioners have a way to keep the budget from laying off, I believe they'll do it not just for the people inside the jail or the deputies on the road, but for the community and county," said Deputy Vince Johnson, who works in the jail.
The sheriff's department will not be the only department affected. A total of 51 jobs in seven departments could be cut.
A court of law would need to approve any cuts the sheriff might make to the department, if staffing reductions were to come to the jail.
Meanwhile, Thursday morning about a dozen people turned out at Flint City Hall to protest police department cuts that they claim have caused inadequate response times.
The city has cut public safety and made other sacrifices to try and climb out of a multimillion dollar deficit.
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