City cutting ties with police department
A city in the region has decided to cut ties with a two-town police department after a two-decade partnership.
The Saugatuck City Council voted yesterday 6-1 to approve the change to the Saugatuck-Douglas Police Department and plans to contract with the Allegan County sheriff's office for police services.
The decision followed debate where community members, including officers from the combined department, opposed the change.
Steve Kent, interim chief of the Saugatuck-Douglas Police Department, said the department will lose half of its eight officers.
Saugatuck's current police service agreement runs until June 30.
The Holland Sentinel reports a review by Saugatuck found that contracting with the sheriff's office will save $220,000 and reduce the city's budget for law enforcement by 38 percent.
Plans call using savings to improve city parks and infrastructure, including roads.