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Branch County jail inmate trustee work program suspended for now


COLDWATER, MI (WTVB) - More issues with the changing of the guard at the Branch County Sheriff’s Department surfaced today as Sheriff John Pollack, just four days into his new job, was questioned at a Board of Commissioner’s committee meeting. The latest concern focused on Pollack’s decision to suspend the jail inmate trustee’s work program.

Pollack said he took the action to address what has sometimes be inadequate supervision on site for the locations where the trustees work and that had resulted in an increase in illegal contraband coming back into the jail. As many as ten inmates were doing outside work at locations including the county complex, the Commission on Aging, and Road Commission.

Now, some of the maintenance and other services performed, including snow removal, could be delayed as a result. Pollack said it could be at least a month before the trustee program is reinstated.

County Administrator Bud Norman also told Commissioners a meeting with county elected officials and department heads will be held next week to examine possible options for addressing security for entering the courthouse. The officers handling those duties have been subject to the million dollars in cuts that are part of the Sheriff’s Department budget for 2013.