Faced with mounting red ink, Pontiac., Mi., a cash-strapped city of 66,000 residents has chipped away at its police department in recent years with layoffs and cutbacks that required help at times from Michigan State Police and the Sheriff’s Office just to keep road patrols operating. Now, says the Detroit News, the city will disband the department and turn patrols over to the Oakland County sheriff as soon as December.
“This is going to be very, very controversial,” said Pontiac Mayor Leon Jukowski. “We’ve known this could happen. It’s been discussed for some time, but the signing of the memorandum of understanding today makes it almost certain.” The changeover is expected to save the city, which has a $12 million deficit, about $2 million a year. The sheriff will supply 24-hour patrols and all police services, including dispatch. The sheriff is expected to operate a city substation out of the current police headquarters.