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Shiawassee County Sheriff's Department faces cuts after millage fails

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

Shiawassee County Commissioners could authorize laying off half the sheriff’s department this week.

Last week, voters rejected a millage hike that would have paid to keep the department funded. The millage was voted down 59% to 41%.

Now 14 to 16 deputies will likely get pink slips by the end of the year.     

Sheriff George Braidwood says if the cuts go through he will have no deputies to respond to traffic accidents or other emergencies.

“I’m scared.  I really am,” says Braidwood. “I think this is going to be devastating.”

Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio
Michigan Radio

Braidwood worries crime from nearby Flint, Saginaw, and Lansing will spill over into his largely rural county.

“The inmates in the jail were cheering (after the vote),” claims Braidwood. “Those people who were in that jail are going back out in those municipalities and they know we're gone. They know we're going to be gone.”

The Shiawassee County Commission finance committee is scheduled to discuss possible budget cuts Monday.

The full commission may take up the budget later this week.  

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.