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Pontiac To Disband Police Department

The cash-strapped city of Pontiac is getting rid of its police department. Pontiac's Emergency Financial Manager Michael Stampfler tells WWJ that contracting police through the Oakland County Sheriff's department will save the city about $2 million a year.

"It's not cost-effective now, today, and the city's out of money, " Sampfler said. "We have do to something, so I said we are going to negotiate with the unions," he said.

Police chief Ballard Grosse said his officers have been living under a great deal of stress, wondering for years just how much longer they'd be employed.

"Men and women working on a stressful job, such as a police office, shouldn't have to worry about having a job, they should only have to worry about doing their job. And, that's not what we've been having to deal with over the last five years. It's been very stressful," he said.

Grosse said he believers voters would reverse a 2006 decision and this time approve a millage increase to suppose their own police department.

Pontiac Mayor Leon Jukowski Jukowski said the memorandum of understanding signed Tuesday means that, by January, the 66,000-resident city will no longer have its own police department.

The agreement with the Oakland County Sheriff includes 24-hour patrols and dispatch services.

Fred Timpner is executive director of the Michigan Association of Police, the union for Pontiac police officers. He says the city should honor a contract that runs through 2012.

 (Copyright 2010 WWJ Radio.  All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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