Oakley to end police contract after chief's home raided - WNEM TV 5

Oakley to end police contract after chief's home raided

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OAKLEY, Mich. (AP) -

A village in central Michigan has decided to not renew its contracts with its police department after federal agents raided the chief's home.

Trustees in Oakley unanimously voted Tuesday not to renew contracts for the part-time, six-person department. The current contracts expire Nov. 8.

The decision comes after Oakley Police Chief Robert Reznick's home was raided last week by agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Court documents state the agents took nine firearms, three bags of money and several pieces of computer equipment from two different properties. A box containing police reservist membership information was also taken from Reznick's garage.

The chief has not been arrested or charged.

Reznick's leadership was also criticized after residents discovered wealthy individuals and celebrities could join his police force as reserve officers.

"If you don't go along with the scam, he comes over with his badge and he bothers you," said Dennis Bitterman, Oakley resident.

Bitterman said Reznick had been a lightning rod for controversy during his tenure as the village's police chief.

An Oakley official said trustees will discuss later whether they want to permanently get rid of the local police force or just make changes.

"I don't know how they ever could. They should've never done this to start with. The village has never had a contract until this stuff came up. And these contracts were made under shady terms to start with," Bitterman said.

While there may not be a police department in November, there will still be a law enforcement presence in town.

"Between the state police and the Saginaw County Sheriff's Office, we will respond to calls for service," Saginaw County Sheriff William Federspiel said.

As for Bitterman, he said Oakley didn't have much of a police department in the first place. He doesn't believe the town will miss what it never really had.

"The sheriff takes care of us just fine and the state police. If you have a problem in this town call 911 and our sheriff is here. They're prompt. They're good deputies," Bitterman said.

Copyright 2017 WNEM (Meredith Corporation)/The Associated Press. All rights reserved. 

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