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More staffing issues for Branch County Sheriff's Department


COLDWATER, MI (WTVB) - More issues with the changing of the guard at the Branch County Sheriff’s Department surfaced Friday 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 been inadequate supervision on site for the locations where the trustees work and that’s resulted in an increase in illegal contraband coming back into the jail.

As many as ten inmates have been doing outside work at locations including the county complex, for the Commission on Aging, and at the 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.