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      Flint looking for ways to save police and fire positions

      <p>Flint City Council Finance Committee members discussed proposed cuts to the police and fire departments.</p>

      The Flint City Council Finance Committee held a public hearing Tuesday night to talk about ways to avoid the proposed job cuts in the police and fire departments.

      A budget proposal by the cityâ??s Emergency Manager could mean losing 19 firefighters and 36 police officers.

      In the meeting, council members spoke about some other options to make up the funds and keep the positions.

      The fire chief says the 19 positions could be eliminated through attrition. He is also proposing to lower the number of firefighters on an engine from four to three.

      The police chief answered questions about his current staffing and the impact budget cuts would have on the department. Council President Scott Kincaid suggested closing the city lockup to save money but the chief felt having the lock up helps deter crime.

      Emergency Financial Manager Darnell Earley was not in attendance at the meeting. He has said in the past that his job is to meet the budget and get Flint out of receivership.

      Council Member Wantwaz Davis, is concerned that the public safety millage is not being allocated properly and is being spread out over multiple years.

      Many council members want to look for other grant opportunities to cover all or part of the cost of the positions.