The future of Keego Harbor police department remains unclear
KEEGO HARBOR, Mich. (WJBK) - Leaders in Keego Harbor are deciding whether to do away with their own police department.
Some residents are concerned there could be some big consequences if the police department is either downsized or devolved, even though council members assure everyone, safety will be covered one way or another.
"If we don't have a police force that's right here, that just seems like insanity to me," says one resident. "The Lake, if you take the police presence off the sandbar, you're gonna have more deaths."
It was standing room only as city council considers several options to save money.
"It never was about saving a few dollars, for me, it was about saving a few lives," says Keego Harbor Mayor Sidney Rubin. "We don't need anyone telling us how they can do it better with slower response times."
According to the mayor, the city will consider leaving the department the way it is, and raising taxes, or sharing a chief with probably Sylvan Lake.
Rubin is also considering outsourcing services completely to possibly Bloomfield or West Bloomfield townships.
What has been decided is the Chief's contract will not be renewed. The mayor says Besides him, there are currently three full time officers and between six and eight part time police officers.
The city is only the size of a half square mile occupied by just less than 3,000 people.
Concerned resident, Phil Trost, says the public deserves options.
"Set the criteria for what we want the police department to do. Then you guys, voted to do this, give us some choices."
The mayor also batting down some bad facts he says has been spread over social media. Assuring everyone that no final decision will be made until more information is gathered.
The concerns striking such a strong chord, even with some people who do not live in the city.
"How can we have faith in you when we cannot even run a Memorial Day parade coinciding with Sylvan Lake which used to go on all the time," says one man.
No decision reached tonight, and all city council members and the mayor say they're still open to any other ideas and proposals.