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      Howard City Police merges with Sheriff's Department

      The three officers have been sworn in as Sheriff's Deputies.

      The Howard City Police Department has merged operations with the Montcalm County Sheriff's Department.

      The agreement merged the two departments and made the three full-time Howard City officers Sheriff's Department employees effective March 1.

      The agreement also allowed the transfer of two patrol cars and other equipment to the Sheriff's Department.

      "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," said Sheriff William Barnwell.

      According to the Sheriff's Department, the existing police agreement between the Village of Howard City and Reynolds Township for 20 hours of police protection per week will now be handled by the Sheriff's Department. The Sheriff's Department says this means that Howard City will pay the Sheriff's Department for 5,000 patrol hours and Reynolds Township will pay for 1,000 patrol hours equaling 6,000 patrol hours. This equates to three full-time deputies per year.

      "This agreement will enhance our existing police activities," said S. Michael Scott, President of the Village of Howard City. "We have had an excellent Police Department for decades, however, with changes in requirements and administration, it has become increasingly difficult to have our officers on the road as many hours as we would like."

      "This agreement with the administrative resources that the Sheriff's Office provides will allow more proactive policing," said Scott. "It is always difficult to change, but we feel that it is the right time and the change will not only benefit both the citizens of the Village and Township, but also the Sheriff's Department."

      The three officers have been sworn in as Sheriff's Deputies.

      "All three of the officers are very qualified and have done an excellent job with the Howard City Police Department," Barnwell said. "I am confident they will continue to do so as they assume their new role as Sheriff Deputies."