Scottville will look at a variety of police options

January 31, 2013

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Story Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.
SCOTTVILLE — The city of Scottville has some options to consider in regards to the future of its police department. At the last city commission, the commission took no action on a proposal from City Manager Amy Williams to give the city of Ludington 90 days notice to end its joint administrative contract.
Ludington Police Department’s chief and captain have been overseeing Scottville Police Department for the past year. That contract was renewed for 2013 with the addition of detective services.
Both departments have remained autonomous however, according to Williams, Ludington would like to see the departments integrated for accountability purposes. This option may prove to be too expensive, however, because Ludington officers get paid more than Scottville officers.
Sheriff Kim Cole proposed helping the city out and the city’s Public Safety Committee will review the proposal. Cole made his proposal verbally a couple weeks ago. Since that time, he and County Administrator Fabian Knizacky have discussed the proposal. The county’s finance and personnel committee has also discussed it.
“At this time, the county is proposing to put an additional car on the road for 40 hours per week,” Williams wrote the city commission in a memo. She said the 40 hours would be night shift hours.
“That car would patrol Custer and Amber townships along with the city of Scottville, so we would be looking at a five minute response time for calls, realizing if that car is on a call in the city or outside the city the response time may not be five minutes.”
The proposal from the sheriff’s office would mean Scottville would continue to have a full time officer and also use part-time officers.
That is just one option, however.
“We are looking at different options,” Mayor Joe Baxter said.
Williams said some of those different options would include keeping the current contract and merging the departments, as requested by Ludington, hiring a part-time chief or hiring a full-time chief.
Williams said she is in the process of setting up a Public Safety Committee meeting. Once that committee meets, it will look at the different options before the topic is brought up in front of the full city commission again.

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