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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.

  • Clone_trooper_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    Sure, don't cut the idiotic liberal programs and cut out the police force... they always say that the Sheriff's Dept. will handle it. With more responsibility, they can't afford to be everywhere, all the time.

  • 1051193310_l_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    I wonder how many free meals they are feeding at the schools? How many midnight basketball type programs are they sponsoring? Have the elected officials looked and trimming down their numbers or reducing their wages? How about City Hall staff, any cuts there? How many branches of a public library are open? I think you get my drift.

  • Imagesca4xarl3gatekeeper911_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    BUMP, I Agree Gary, and All I can say is,,,, PONTIAC, MI has some real Foolish Officials!

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 4 years ago

    now this is stupid

  • Barney_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    A city that big probably has needs and problems that would best be dealt with by its own police department. If the city wanted to keep its police department it could, it might not be easy but it could be done.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 4 years ago

    There are some real good street cops in Pontiac. The city has been ran into the hole since for 30 years with the city council, mayors, city managers stealing money like kids steal candy.

  • Thinker_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    A city of 66,000 can't afford their own police department. Somehting wrong here...

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 4 years ago

    Holy unbelievable cow! Of all the cities in this state, Pontiac is one on the long list of urban areas that desperately need as many good LEOs as they can get. Even back when I was a kid...about a hundred years ago...Pontiac had earned a reputation for being a place where you could easily run into trouble and NEED a cop. This is just plain sad. Good luck to the Oakland County sheriff's department! For all of the displaced and "moving over" officers, I hope it goes well.

  • Untitledma28839986-0002_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    I hate ro see this happen. Hope all the officers are hired by the Sheriff's Department.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 4 years ago


    If Obama was the answer, how stupid was the question?

  • John_groh_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    BUMP BSPD88 I hope the Officers of Pontiac are hired by the Sheriffs Dept to cover the area.

  • Steve_mcqueen_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    "CHALK UP ANOTHER ONE FOR OBAMA AND HIS CHANGE"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Or maybe to Pelose for her "NEW JET SHE HAD TO HAVE" because the other one was too small!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! "JIMMY CARTER LOOKS MORE AND MORE LIKE EINSTEIN EVERY DAY"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Btjustice_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    Not good. The city has now addied an additional strain to Sheriffs patrol, I would imagine an area that the Sheriffs do not primarily patrol - hence taking away from patrol duties elsewhere and all in all, not being able to provide effective patrol in the city of Pontiac let alone other towns patrolled. Good luck Pontiac. Ashame the leaders had to come to this decission.

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