Fennville will soon replace patrols by a sheriff's deputy with its own one-person police department.
FENNVILLE, Mich. (WZZM) - A one man -- or one woman -- police department will soon be created in Fennville.
The city commission has approved the new department, which will open on January 1.
The city currently contracts with Allegan County for a sheriff's deputy, but this is a cost-savings move that is expected to save Fennville $27,000 annually.
Fennville is a quaint town of about 1,400 people.
"It is very much a sleepy town," says Mayor Dan Rastall.
There's no traffic lights and few stop signs.
Just a block off Main Street you'll find one sheriff department cruiser, which is soon to become the city of Fennville's one -- and only -- police car.
"I think it was a necessary move," says city Commissioner Tom Pantelleria. "Our financials are not balanced. We are spending more than we are taking in at the moment."
Pantelleria joined other city leaders to review applications Tuesday night.
Fennville is paying Allegan County $77,000 annually for a deputy now. It will pay $65,000 come January for its own officer, which includes salary and start-up expenses.
"Then long term we see the expenses being salary, probably being in the neighborhood of $50,000 a year," says Pantelleria.
Rastall says officers are interested. The city has eight resumes so far, including five from Michigan, one from Delaware -- and even one from a soldier serving in Afghanistan.
"A lot of others are dealing with budget cuts just as we are, and I assume these individuals are looking for work and are desperate to relocate to find that work," says Pantelleria.
But not all of them know what they're getting into.
"In the cover letter he says he looks forward to leading the officers of the City of Fennville. Well, you are the officer," says Rastall, reading a resume to the commissioners.
Rastall says the officer can get help from the satellite hub office in town, where Allegan County deputies meet.
All other emergency services will stay the same. Hastall hopes so, too, will the police department's workload.
"Maybe the most serious is a domestic violence," said Rastall. "There's no major crimes to speak of, and we plan on keeping it that way."
Rastall says they're still taking applications, but the goal is to pick the officer by November 1, so he or she is trained and ready by January 1.
Rastall says the current deputy is among those in the application pool.