Saginaw City Manager Darnell Earley held a press conference in the council chambers of City Hall in which Brian Lipe was named the Chief of Police in Saginaw.
Lipe was serving as the Interim Police Chief after former Police Chief Gerald Cliff left for another position. Lipe was appointed as Interim Police Chief last July.
Lipe says he is very humbled to be named the permanent chief. He went on to say that people thought he was crazy for wanting the job but says he sees the job as a great opportunity. He also wanted to thank the Michigan State Police for providing 19 officers to patrol the city.
Assistant City Manager Phil Ludos said he is very confident in Lipe's ability to lead the city's police force. He went on to say that he has never worked with an individual that performed so well under difficult circumstances.
Mayor Greg Branch said that he was very pleased that the interim label has been removed from Lipe's title. He stressed that Lipe has the full support of the Mayor's office and the City Council.
Lipe said that he is in the process of introducing a citizen advisory council that would allow residents to be active in combating crime within the city. He also hoped to create a position of Public Information Officer.
A plan that early introduced to the city council last month would reduce the city's police force to 55 officers. The city's fire department would be reduced to 35.
Those cuts would take effect on July 1 and are needed to eliminate a more than 3-million dollar budget deficit.
Currently, 67 officers are on staff but that number will be reduced in two months.
Early's original plan called for the city to outsource patrols to the Saginaw County Sheriff's Department but that plan has repeatedly been turned down by Sheriff Bill Federspiel.
The city has been in negotiations with Saginaw County Sheriff Bill Federspiel to contract out city policing needs to the sheriff's department. Up to 21 city police officers could be pink slipped on June 30 if no agreement is reached. Some of those 21 could be retirements.
Not only has the sheriff repeatedly told the city "no" to the proposal, the Saginaw Police union is on record as being against the deal.
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