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Solutions to Branch County sheriff road patrol reductions being considered

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COLDWATER, MI (WTVB) - Branch County Sheriff-elect John Pollack is taking a pro-active approach in spreading the word on looming reductions to the deputy ranks at the Sheriff’s Department in the wake of last week’s defeat at the polls of a proposed levy to fund the county’s road patrol.

The drastic cuts that would eliminate around 75% of the patrol deputies are coming because of the county’s budget squeeze with the spending plan for 2013 being balanced by slashing non-mandated services.

Pollack, currently a Sheriff’s Department sergeant, presented a preview of the coming events at last night’s meeting of the Coldwater City Council. According to Pollack, the Sheriff’s Department has been instructed by the County Commission’s Finance Committee to develop a budget reduction of at least 11 deputies from the current force that numbers 15, leaving 4 deputies to handle the road patrol. The County Board of Commissioners seems intent on approving a general fund budget for next year minus the usual infusion of money from the delinquent tax revolving account and or the rainy day fund balance, thus the need to take the axe to other programs. Pollack told the Council there’s no need to panic with the prevailing attitude that workable solutions will surface.

He’s confident that County Commissioners are open to considering other options, limited as they may be, and assured the City that they will continue to work to provide the best public safety protection they can for the people of Branch County. Pollack and soon to retire Sheriff Warren Cannon met last week with the Finance Committee. The full Board of Commissioners holds its first regular meeting since the election this afternoon at 4 p.m. at the courthouse.

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