SAUGATUCK, Mich. (WOOD) — The Saugatuck City Council decided Monday to withdraw from its partnership with the city of Douglas for police services.
The move passed in a 6-1 vote, Saugatuck City Manager Kirk Harrier confirmed to 24 Hour News 8.
The neighboring cities have had a joint police department for 20 years, with the current contract set to expire June 30. Saugatuck was up against a March 1 deadline to notify Douglas if it would not renew.
Harrier said the plan moving forward is to contract with the Allegan County Sheriff’s Office. Precise details of that contract have not yet been worked out, but Saugatuck is expected to get a dedicated deputy.
Saugatuck leaders say the change is about money. A study released earlier this month found the switch would save the city $220,791 annually.
The Saugatuck-Douglas Police Department officers’ union opposes the move, as does the Allegan County prosecutor. They say it will increase response times and lower the quality of service.