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      Onaway on its way to policing solution

      Onaway, like a lot of rural areas in Michigan, is finding ways to keep police presence with budget restraints.

      UPDATED as of 9:00pm:

      At tonight's meeting, the Onaway City Commission voted to move forward with the plan to negotiate with the Sheriff's Department. They will continue to employ the police chief until the end of April.


      Onaway, like many rural areas in Michigan, is facing a police problem: how do we maintain police presence in the area when the budget is tight? The Onaway City Council believes it has found a solution.

      It will meet tonight to discuss a plan that would eliminate the city's police department.

      The new proposed plan calls for the one city police officer to be hired by the Presque Isle Sheriff's Department. For the time being, that officer will continue to patrol Onaway's city limits.

      The goal was to maintain a city policing presence, maintain a job, and cut costs.

      Under the proposed plan, the city will go into a contract with the county. The sheriff's department will hire the one police officer that the city can no longer financially support. And the city will pay the county $50,000 until there is an opening within the department.

      Once there is an opening, the deputy stationed in Onaway will take that position and the city will no longer have to pay the fee.

      After the transition is made, the regular patrol will stop in the city limits.

      The meeting is scheduled for tonight at 5:30 at the Onaway City Hall.