It's a tough road ahead for new Saginaw police chief Brian Lipe. Come July 1st, Saginaw will lose 12 police officers due to budget cuts.
â??He's demonstrated that he can give leadership to a downsized department,â?? says Darnell Earley, Saginaw city manager. â??It will be a challenge but I'm confident he possess the skill to do that,â?? adds Earley.
It's a challenge Lipe's dealt with for the past 10 months as acting chief but he says new initiatives will help him do more with less.
â??Weâ??re developing a good plan for that. We're trying to introduce new technologies to assist us with that,â?? says the new chief.
Those new initiatives include using social media and creating an online portal for neighbors to report crime.
â??Things like that, getting that out there, getting that on a website, if it's Twitter or Facebook---whatever our P.I.O (public information officer) develops will really help us out, help the citizens out,â?? says the new top cop.
â??How are they going to do more with less?, questions Jim, a Saginaw resident. â??That's contradicting itself right there,â?? he adds.
â??They talking (sic) about laying off officers and stuff. Nah, it ain't gonna work,â?? says Ozell Lewis, another skeptical neighbor.
â??Iâ??ve heard enough over my career that we're not trusted by citizens or a certain segment of citizens and I think that by improving image and communication, we can affect that,â?? says Lipe.
â??Give us a chance to show it,â?? adds Earley.