Tri-communities eye joint police service

Scott Sullivan
It has long been a bone of contention between the cities — whose rising police budget now tops $1 million a year — that the township does not pay for backup or first responses by city police to calls within its jurisdiction. The township also operates on a different budget struc-ture than do the cities. It would likely require a dedicated millage, passed by its taxpayers, to fund adding law-enforcement coverage. Saugatuck Township Fire District Chief Greg Janik, told the township board at its Aug. 3 meeting that he — as a resident whose department keeps absorbing more first-response calls in lieu of county and state police staff cuts — would be willing to consider such a millage. The board agreed to join the cities studying such a measure.

The tri-communities study many things. Some, although not all, result in action.

Douglas City Council was scheduled Tuesday to consider a resolution to create a joint study committee with Saugatuck city and township to make recommendations for police services within the three municipalities.

The cities now jointly operate the Saugatuck-Douglas Police Department while the township, far larger in total area and population, officially relies on Allegan County Sheriff’s Department road patrols. The township also leases a portion of its offices to a detachment of the Michigan State Police.

For full story, pick up a copy of the Sept. 8 Commercial Record or subscribe to the e-edition.

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