Tri-Cities police force?

Years from now, a call for help might result in the arrival of an officer from the Tri-Cities Public Safety Department.
Alex Doty
Feb 20, 2013


Managers from Spring Lake Village and the cities of Ferrysburg and Grand Haven recently met to discuss that possibility with Spring Lake/Ferrysburg Police Chief Roger DeYoung and Grand Haven Public Safety Director Jeff Hawke. The group is engaged in an ongoing informal discussion regarding shared police and fire services.

“We will be looking at everything up to consolidation,” Grand Haven City Manager Pat McGinnis said. “If we can do a better job for less money, we should take a look at it.”

Far from establishing a name, city officials are looking at what the move might mean.

In order to move forward, McGinnis said officials decided that they would need to agree on six tenets:

— Maintain or improve services

— Maintain or reduce costs

— Shared control

— Protect current employees

— Presence in all neighborhoods

— Equity in financial commitment

McGinnis added that if there are any hang ups on any one of the six items, there wouldn’t be a point in spending additional resources on the idea.

“If we can do these things, would our boards give the green light?” he posed.

The City of Grand Haven currently operates a combined police and fire service in the form of a public safety department. Spring Lake Village and Ferrysburg share a police department, while Ferrysburg has its own fire department. Spring Lake Township provides fire service for the village.

McGinnis pointed out that city and village leaders wouldn’t want to reduce the police and fire presence in the communities.

“None of us have said we want fewer cops and fewer firefighters,” he said.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

Tribune reporter Marie Havenga contributed to this report.




Great we will now have the blind leading the blind. I wondering if the grand haven PD will teach the spring lake PD on how beat your spouse or coworker.

Say No To Tourist's

Dont forget, put your co workers names your service pistols bullets.....just sayin'


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Libel and defamation.


Sorry SNTT, nothing against you. This story in particular just irks me because it keeps coming back in every story about the police since and it should never have been published by a reputable news source such as the Tribune.

Say No To Tourist's

GHJames, no worries. Never even seen what you posted, guess someone didnt like it.

Say No To Tourist's

Wow it only lasted 4 minutes..... The Trib was qiuck on the trigger this time, no pun!


Reputable news source?? The GH Tribune? Whoa.

Say No To Tourist's

Now thats funny!


So it is libel when an anonymous source makes a baseless accusation. The irony of this has me laughing and also a little sad at the same time.


Every group can have some bad apples. I know a couple Grand Haven officers very well and they're the best that anyone could hope to have protect you. Please don't label all Grand Haven Police Officers the same.


When the good officer protects a bad offer they all become a bad apples


Please give me an example of when current Grand Haven Police Officers have done something illegal or even immoral.

Say No To Tourist's

Yeah I just put that out there to stir the pot, we do have a very good police force. Other than a couple could change their attitudes a bit, but still good officers.


Never have so few said so little about so much...

Never a bad idea for neighboring communities to review how sharing services can improve those service at less cost to taxpayers. Of course, there are those in EVERY community who get their exercise jumping to conclusions about what this may mean.


Yes, RX, I think we all got a little off point there. Sorry
On one hand it would be great to save money, on the other hand the Ferrysburg FD is very deeply rooted in the community and I'm not so sure you can put a price tag on community spirit like that.


The whole legal system in Ottawa county is corrupt.. Wake up people!!!!!


Paranoid much?


I'd say realistic.


It is really sad that some people continue to slam the police in this area. These Officers have a thankless job but they keep getting beat up by a select few. Stay on point. What you bring up has nothing to do with possible consolidation of agencies. If you don't like them, don't call them when you need help.

The whole legal system in Ottawa County is corrupt. Please share why you believe this. Talk without facts is baseless.


i think the thing that is missed so much is that when a police officer has there uniform on they have a job to do. there are so many people out there that try to lie or cheat the system that these fine men and woman have to put on a differant face just to get through there shifts to go home to there loved ones... alot of them like to cut loose and have fun same as you and me when they get a chance there is nothing wrong with that....

so ask yourself this
how would you like a job that the next car you stop is someone with a gun and is out for you

Thank you to all of our fine public servants and for the jobs you do

in memory of officer Scott Flahive and officer Trevor Parker Slot


The six tenets outlined by Pat McGinnis seem quite reasonable and practical as a basis for discussion. The bottom line question is if such a consolidation would really save money, assuming the quality of service would not diminish.


People wake up.. GH City is trying to get the other communities to pay for their public safety screwed up system. GH City does not have enough people on shift to fight a structure fire. So they rely on calling normally GH TWP Fire Dept to respond who then foots the bill. See GH City does not have any manditory call back for off duty personal... Its called overtime...So the City Manager does not want to pay for it. So we get into a agreement with the other fire agencies to fork over the man power and equipment... I say look at ways to cut the fire services response to wasted calls. A trained police officer can certainly tell if someone is injured or not. They also can treat patients at medical emergencies. But we known the fire departments don't want that to happen cause that will cut their second jobs pay. Lets look at this... we want to cut the state governments wages and benefits like the school teachers, police officers, ect... but its Ok to be a VOLUNTEER firefighter at GH twp and get a retirement and make 25-30 hrs as a second job. Most of the public safety officers and firefighters are double dipping the retirement system in the tri-cities area. The public safety system id broke.. To many politics to change this fight



I'm not sure where you obtained your information, but it is not entirely accurate. I'm not sure how you came to your conclusion that GH doesn't have enough people on shift to handle a fire. They have always been able to make an attack on a fire complying with the 2 in 2 out rule. Do they regularly call Grand Haven Township for their assistance, yes, but that is why mutual aid agreements are in place. You didn't mention that GH City also responds to structure fires within GH Township. You also don't mention GH City also has Paid-On-Call Firefighters that supplement their full-time staffing. You are correct that GH City does not have a mandatory call back, but that doesn't mean full-time personnel don't voluntarily respond (and they do receive overtime).

There is also a automatic mutual aid agreement between GH Township and GH City where both departments respond because there are areas in the Township that GH City personnel can respond more quickly and vice versa. If the first arriving units feel there is no need for the other agency to respond, they are called off.

You also mention medical emergencies and your belief that trained "police" can respond so the fire departments don't have to. What you don't mention is the State requires all first responders to carry specific medical equipment in EACH vehicle. This is cost prohibitive to outfit every patrol car with all the required equipment. So, we can't have the police respond and you don't feel the fire department should respond, so only the ambulance will. I don't know about you, but if I lived in one of the rural Townships and I needed immediate medical assistance, I don't want to wait for the ambulance which can take longer because of the distance they must travel (nothing negative towards NOCH Ambulance). If I'm having a serious medical emergency, I want the quickest response possible, and I'm willing to pay for it.

Public Safety Officers do not increase their pension (retirement) because they work for another fire department, but instead are simply working a 2nd job. You don't mention that GH Township Firefighters also work part-time at GH City and it doesn't increase their pension at GH Township either.

Lets give our leaders in the Tri-Cities in the area a little more credit. They aren't going to allow their individual communities to get burdened with more costs unless service is dramatically increased.


seversl points of your comments shows the support for the broken system. First of all the two in and two rule is just that... recommendation from the insurance companies and we have taken bits and pieces to increase FT personnel... I don't think it was intended to have both FT firefighters respond to medical emergencies. Its not a state law.... Yes GH City does have a very limited number of volunteer firefighters.. but really how many times do they get called in... Yes the State of MIchigan EMS division does required to be licensed as a fire responder unit to carry equipment. Well if this true then all the volunteer firefighters are not in compliance either using their personal vehicles as the responding units. What has happen here the commen sense has been taken out of the job and liability. so if you want the quickest response the train all public saety officers in medical first response.
I don't think I was suggesting that your retirement is increased... but you are elgiable for a second government funded retirement from the volunteer department if they offer one.

Lets face it the fire deaprtment does not want the police taking any call volume away from them.Its about taking money out of their pockets. Lets look at the case in Hudsonville City this is sad case Hopefully this political garbage comes to an end and fire chief is sued.


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