Scottville hires new police chief

May 6, 2013

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

SCOTTVILLE – Donald Riley of Walhalla will become Scottville’s new police chief sometime in the next couple of weeks. The Scottville City Commission voted unanimously today to hire Riley and to end its administrative contract with the City of Ludington; both were recommendations of the city’s public safety committee.

Only one citizen, Darelen Roedig of West State Street, asked about the police chief position and why the city had reached the decision.

City Manager Amy Williams explained that under the current contract, the Ludington police chief and the captain administer the Scottville department. This means that they set the schedule and handle paperwork. However, the chief and captain do not usually actively patrol Scottville. Instead they operate out of Ludington, coming into Scottville once a day during the week to pick up paperwork and meet with citizens when requested. Williams added the system has worked out well but Ludington’s request to change the contract next year will mean far more than Scottville can afford.

Riley will be paid $20,000 and will be working an average of 20 hours per week, in Scottville, Williams said. He will be able to respond to complaints when necessary, but the majority of his job will be administrative. Williams said that Chief Larry Nichols, who was the last full-time chief in Scottville, spent a majority of his work time doing paperwork.

The City of Ludington had requested that it take over the Scottville department for accountability and consistency purposes. However, the costs would increase every year with a conservative figure of starting at $10,000 additional in 2014.

The Mason County Sheriff’s Department had also proposed entering into an agreement with Scottville in which Scottville would fund 70 percent of an additional deputy who would work 40 hours per week. The sheriff’s department proposal would have guaranteed a five minute response time but the department would not guarantee it would hire one of Scottville’s officers for the position.

Scottville’s agreement with Ludington requires a 90-day notice before termination. Scottville is currently paid up in the contract until the end of June. Williams said Ludington City Manager John Shay will discuss early termination without penalty with Ludington’s public safety committee within the next week.

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