Saginaw County Sheriff William Federspiel tells NBC25 his plan to cover policing in the city of Saginaw would actually increase the number of officers on the streets.
He presented the plan to the City Manager's Office this afternoon that details how his department would take over policing in the City of Saginaw in the event of a merger of the two departments.
The plan will be presented to city council tonight. Neither the sheriff or the city manager's office are yet prepared to release the cost estimates, but the numbers are expected to be made public at tonight's city council meeting and the exact amount the plan would save the city will be made known. In an exclusive interview this afternoon, Federspiel tells NBC25 that the plan would increase the number of officers dedicated to the City of Saginaw from the current level of 87 sworn officers, and the community policing programs would continue untouched. Federspiel would not give an exact number of sworn officers but hinted that it could be closer to the 105 number that community experts have recommended. He also says there would likely be a job available for most if not all of the sworn officers currently serving in the city, who do not take the opportunity to retire.
Community groups are planning a protest before tonight's meeting of the city council and they tell NBC25 they don't believe the number of officers will actually increase. Protest organizer Donny Mccloskey tells NBC25 News, "They keep telling us there are going to be extra officers out there we don't see it happening. We want to make sure there is the full time employees and our CPO program stays intact.
CPO stands for "Community Police Officers". Federspiel, who was a community police officer himself, says the officers would remain in their respective neighborhoods, possibly even the same ones.