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.