Southwest Michigan city gets patrols from sheriff's office

Posted at 3:35 PM, Jul 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-06 12:31:39-04

The southwestern Michigan city of Saugatuck has a new law enforcement arrangement in place after cutting ties with the combined Saugatuck-Douglas Police Department.

Saugatuck City Council voted earlier this year to approve the change. The city is now contracting with the Allegan County sheriff's office for police services. The decision followed debate where community members, including officers from the combined department, opposed ending the roughly two decade partnership.

Saugatuck City Manager Kirk Harrier tells WOOD-TV he's not anticipating a noticeable difference in safety with sheriff's deputies handling calls.

Saugatuck's earlier police service agreement ran until June 30. A review by Saugatuck found contracting with the sheriff's office will save $220,000 and reduce the city's budget for law enforcement. Plans call using savings to improve city parks and infrastructure including roads.