HOWARD CITY, Mich. (WOOD) — The Howard City Police Department has been absorbed by the Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office.
The police department and sheriff’s office merged effective Saturday. Howard City’s three officers — including its chief — became sheriff’s deputies. Its two cruisers, as well as some other equipment, became sheriff’s office property.
“This agreement is an excellent example of government agencies working together to provide the best and most economical way to provide services to the citizens in their community,” Montcalm County Sheriff William Barnwell said in a statement.
The Howard City Police Department had been providing nearby Reynolds Township with 20 hours of police protection per week, according to a release. That responsibility has been transferred to the sheriff’s office.
Howard City will pay the sheriff’s office for 5,000 hours of service in Reynolds Township each year and the township will pay for 1,000 hours — that adds up to service from three full-time deputies per year.
Howard City will pay $511,170 to the county over the next three years for sheriff’s office service. When the contract with the county expires at the end of 2016, the village will decide whether to reinstate its police department or continue contracting with the county.
Reynolds Township will pay $29,820 through the end of this year. At that point, it may extend its contract for service.
Residents with emergencies should continue to call 911. Non-emergency calls should be directed to Montcalm County Central Dispatch at 989.831.3500 or the sheriff’s office at 989.831.7590.