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      Genesee Co. Sheriff's deputies welcomed in Flushing Township

      Sheriff's cars are parked outside what used to be the Flushing Township Police Department office. They??re becoming a familiar sight, two months after the township approved a contract with the Genesee County Sheriff's Department.

      "We want to make sure that people know that we're out there,?? said Undersheriff Chris Swanson. Four full-time sheriff's detectives and one part-time sergeant are assigned to the township to provide around-the-clock protection.

      Sheriff Robert Pickell says his deputies are becoming part of the community.

      "People have really been telling me those results are visible in the neighborhood,?? he said.

      Thursday, township board members thanked Pickell for hiring two laid-off Flushing police officers, who are expected to start work with the sheriff's department next week.

      Pickell and Swanson assured neighbors of their commitment to their safety.

      "Security in my community, especially with all the foreclosures and the empty homes, it just makes me feel a little safer,?? said Jean Shingledecker.

      The three laid-off police officers filed a grievance following the township??s disbandment of the police department. A hearing is scheduled for July.