Residents speak out against public safety cuts - WNEM TV 5

Residents speak out against public safety cuts

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SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

Saginaw residents voiced their concerns about public safety at a special city council meeting. The meeting at Saginaw High School lasted more than four hours.

The City Council passed a motion allowing management to attempt to negotiate a contract with the Saginaw County Sheriff's Department. It passed with a 6-3 vote.

Sheriff Bill Federspiel addressed the council during public comment. City leaders asked him draft a contract to staff police operations in Saginaw. The sheriff said he has no intentions of running the city's police department.

"Quite honestly it would've been an uphill battle and I don't know that we would've been successful," said Federspiel.

Council members called the sheriff up to the podium to ask him if he was willing to enter into a contract with the city. Federspiel said no. Still, that didn't stop the council from passing the motion.

If city officials fail to come up with a realistic plan they could be forced to make massive layoffs.

Longtime resident Inez Williams held a sign that read "We need Saginaw police officers."

"It would be devastating for our community if we did have police officers laid off," said Williams.

Several current and retired police officers also expressed their concerns to the council.

Copyright 2012 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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