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Pontiac Disbanding Police Department

Detroit Free Press via YellowBrix

October 13, 2010

PONTIAC, MI — City officials signed a memorandum of understanding Tuesday to disband the Police Department and turn patrols in Pontiac over to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office as soon as December.

Faced with mounting red ink, the cash-strapped city of 66,000 residents has chipped away at its Police Department in recent years with layoffs and cutbacks that required help at times from Michigan State Police and the Sheriff’s Office just to keep road patrols operating.


“This is going to be very, very controversial,” said Pontiac Mayor Leon Jukowski. "We’ve known this could happen. It’s been discussed for some time, but the signing of the memorandum of understanding today makes it almost certain.

“By December, no later than January, we will no longer have a Pontiac Police Department, and our city’s public safety will be handed over to the Oakland County sheriff.”

Jukowski noted the contract still must be signed.

“Having been the department’s attorney for 10 years, I have mixed feelings about it,” he said. “The good thing is we will still have police services, including current officers. They will just be changing uniforms. I hope it’s going to work.”

An official with the union that represents Pontiac police officers objected Tuesday night to the city’s plans.

Fred Timpner, executive director of the Michigan Association of Police, said the union signed a contract with the city’s former emergency financial manager, Fred Leeb, that runs through 2012.

“I believe the city has to honor that contract and we will be asking that they do that,” he said. “I don’t think there is any way they can ignore itso they can nowcontract with the sheriff. A deal is a deal.”

Emergency Financial Manager Michael Stampfler, appointed July 1, could not be reached for comment. Jukowski said the changeover is expected to save the city, which has a $12 million deficit, about $2 million a year. The Sheriff’s Office will supply 24-hour patrols and all police services, including dispatch. The sheriff is expected to operate a city substation out of the current police headquarters.

The sheriff contracts police services for 15 communities, including Rochester Hills, Royal Oak and Oxford Township.

The proposed contract from the Sheriff Office will cost about $10.2 million and provide 74 officers, the city’s current police staffing.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    The GOP will be renaming Detroit to Kochville!

  • Mcso_patch_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    Ridiculous! I cant imagine a town of that size not having a police department.

  • Sfa_iv_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    What next...Cut the Mayor should have been first.

  • In_remembrance_of_oakland_pd_max50_max50_max50_max50_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    A sad sign of the times.

  • Joefriday_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    Sad to see it go but at leastone thing happend. All 74 officers will go to the sheriff's office.

  • Walther_ppk_pic_max600_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    There always is an answer to any problem. But the answer you get, Is not necessarily the one you want.

    I don't have a good feeling about this.....

    Times change.

    Sometimes a Metro Police Unit breaks out and becomes it's own agency.

    Sometimes a Police Agency is absorbed into another...... for reasons like lack of funding, chaning population and/or anti-corruption issues.

    That being said.... I still hope that this current changeover plan works out for everyone.

  • White_shirt_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    wiseass0282. U da man. I agree

  • Anonymous-killer-whale-232189_1__max50


    almost 4 years ago


    As I've said in the past, cutting back on/cutting out the first responders ( police, fire fighters, etc. ) should be a last resort. I feel sorry for the residents of Pontiac. Bad days ahead .....

  • My_kids_027_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    HEYSARGE I like your idea just get rid of the City Manager and I'm sure they can find some other politicians that aren't really needed.

  • Silver_warrior_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    Pontiac is definitely an interesting place but the Sheriff's Department won't be strained. . . .trust me. Unlike other states where the Sheriff's Office is king of the hill in that county, the Sheriff's Departments in Michigan are not required by law to put patrols out. Michigan Constitution only requires the Sheriff to operate the jail and do civil service. . . .and Oakland County has that down to a science. They will NOT patrol a township unless they have a contract with the township. If it is an emergency, they will come in and hold it down until the local authority (or state police if no local authority) comes in to take the complaint. . . .unless it might become "newsworthy". Otherwise, they won't show up, even though it is with in their county. It is not the road officer's decision, it is their boss' decision on that.

    Pontiac has it's issues with contracts and the contracts the police signed did not include a minimum staffing levels on a shift so at times they would be lucky to get 3 to maybe 5 cars out on the street. Now, they contract with the Sheriff's Department. . . they don't have to worry about insurances, training, understaffing issues (i.e. paying overtime), equipment issues. . .etc., etc.,. . . .the Sheriff's Department has to worry about that. At roughly $300,000.00/year per officer per day (i.e. 3 officers to cover 3 shifts along with a sgt. and a building), Pontiac may have saved themselves some money so they can pay their firemen that DID get a minimum staffing clause in THEIR contract.

  • Police_link_badge_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    Just fire the city manager as well !!!!!!!!!

  • Spd_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    All I can say is wow. Just let the citizen’s vote on it. I bet 99.999999% of Pontiac citizens will vote to keep Police/Fire around. It always amazes me when I walk in city halls and there are more sectary’s to the mayor than officers actually patrolling the streets. If a city has to make cuts make them where it will least affect the city. A city of 66,000 shouldn’t have the same revenue issues as a city of 600!!

  • Pug_max600_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    What ever you do do not cut the politician's salary or perks!!!!. The rest of us can tighten our belts and wear hand- me-downs. We understand you have our best interest at heart. After all we were there when you needed us.
    Best to all the officers in the future.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 4 years ago


    You knowjust stop blaming President Obama. He inherited a nation that was being overwhelmed by the greediness of high positioned executives. I feel bad for the officers of the Pontiac Police Department and hope that they all land on thier feet. Having been through a disbandment myself (CHA Police 1999) I can tell you they will need the support of family, friends, and the community. In closing, one must point the finger at the city officials who knew that fiscal hardships were a possibility and they should have prepared for it. Once again officers good luck to all of you.

  • Clone_trooper_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    Another thng, if they can't afford to have a police dept., how can they affored to contract out to the Sheriff's Dept?

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