Michigan village eliminates police department - WNEM TV 5

Michigan village eliminates police department

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Officials in a small Saginaw County village have shut down their police department until it gets liability insurance.

The Oakley Board of Trustees voted 5-1 on Tuesday to disband the force of about a dozen certified officers. The village has a population of 300 but about 100 reserve officers.

The Michigan Municipal League told Oakley it would lose its insurance coverage earlier this year. The insurance carrier cited lawsuits filed against the village and concerns about the police department as reasons for ending coverage July 1.

Controversy swirled around the police chief Rob Reznick. Some people questioned the way the chief has raised donations that were being used in the village's general fund.

Now, according to the village council, that money was donated by people who signed up to become what they call "reserve officers" for the police department.

Some of Reznick's critics, including members of the village council, expressed concern he was gaining too much power in the village because of the extra money his department provides.

The village secured municipal insurance on July 1 but it doesn't cover the police department.

Board of Trustees President Pro Tem Sue Dingo told another trustee during the meeting that she didn't know how much liability insurance would cost.

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