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AUDIO: Branch County sheriff discusses the "new normal" for the department

COLDWATER, MI (WTVB) -Branch County Sheriff John Pollack says the Sheriff’s Department may never again be what it once was in terms of manpower following drastic budget cuts at the beginning of this year but there are expectations some staffing recovery can be achieved in 2014. Half of the 16 road patrol deputies were laid off and there was also trimming of corrections officers for the jail.

Pollack says discussions are underway with County Commissioners as they prepare a general fund budget for next year. He says the Commission has not asked him to make any more cuts while there is some talk the county may be better off financially and that means a few employees in his department may be recalled into corrections and for road patrol. According to Pollack, that would make the public feel more comfortable, likewise for his staff. The spending plan will be adopted by the end of December.

The County Board, Department heads and County Administrator Bud Norman continue to search for the best solutions to deal with a projected million dollar deficit which has to be erased before a budget is adopted next month.