Saginaw City Council announcing public safety layoffs

"Even though our numbers will go down. I am confident that we will have in place a system that can provide an adequate public safety service deliver system given the amount of money we have to fund it,â?? said City Manager Darnell Earley.

The city is pushing for a sheriff's department merger to sustain a safe amount of law enforcement on the streets, one that will ease the effects of looming layoffs.

Saginaw Mayor Greg Branch says council and the sheriff are working to accommodate Saginaw.

"I think that he is rightly concerned about not putting himself in a position where what he needs to do is going to fail,â?? said Branch.

The 3.2 million dollar shortfall is forcing a cut in public safety. Councilman Norman Braddock isn't finding the cuts to law enforcement to be the main issue.

"We could have 500 policemen and it wouldn't really have that big of an impact on the crime rate because a lot of this stuff is done within the home,â?? said Braddock.

Braddock suggests the city look to a career complex and education for public safety in this financial crisis.

"That's the key to public safety is providing job opportunities for people. When we have had summer jobs programs in this community our crime rate has dropped,â?? said Braddock.

Council says it is a balancing act. Getting the budget balanced and ensuring the public is safe.

"We are going down simultaneous tracks with the intention of not only balancing our budget but hopefully getting the sheriff to consider the agreement,â?? said Earley.

"We're going to end up coming out of this okay, not everyoneâ??s going to be really happy about it."

After the layoff's Saginaw will have 55 police officers and 35 firefighters unless a deal is reached with the sheriff's department.