Central Michigan University police officers sworn in as Saginaw County deputies www.privateofficer.com
SAGINAW, MI Jan 23 2013— For the first time since he was elected, Saginaw County Sheriff William Federspiel deputized a group of police officers based outside the county.
Federspiel, who swears in officers from many police agencies within the county, drove to Mount Pleasant on Thursday, Jan. 17, to confer Saginaw County deputy status on Central Michigan University’s police force.
The sheriff said the idea arose out of talks with area law enforcement leadership centered around the forthcoming construction of CMU medical campuses adjacent to St. Mary’s and Covenant hospitals in Saginaw.
“I feel very strongly about making sure the students of Central Michigan University that come here to the new medical campus have a feeling of safety and security while they’re here,” Federspiel said.
CMU Police Chief William Yeagley said the deputization of his officers is intended merely to allow them to respond to incidents that occur while CMU officers are on campus running periodic educational programs offered by the university police department.
“CMU is not going to have a station there or have any officers assigned there around-the-clock,” Yeagley said. “We have great confidence and a great relationship with the city police as well as the county sheriff and Saginaw Township Police Department.”
Preliminary coursework in the College of Medicine, which is the 137th school of medicine in the nation, will be completed by students at the Mount Pleasant campus.
Construction of the two Saginaw campuses is set to begin in the fall, and the first class of about 60 students are expected to start their course work in August 2013. At full capacity, the facilities are expected to house 200 students each year.
Primary police services for the new medical campuses in Saginaw will be provided by the Saginaw Police Department and the Saginaw County sheriff’s office, Yeagley said. The police chief said he wants to make it clear that these added powers are in no way an attempt by his agency to take on regular patrol duties in Saginaw.
“That is not what is going on here at all,” he said. “Our focus is our campus. We have enough to do in our own jurisdiction.”
Yeagley said all but two of his police force of 21 officers were deputized by Federspiel, but said the intention is to eventually swear in the entire department.
He said his officers already have police authority, through state law, on CMU’s campus and have been deputized by Isabella County Sheriff Leo Mioduszewski.
Federspiel said the officers are now Saginaw County deputies for the remainder of his four-year term in office, unless the deputization is revoked.
“I tell all my deputies that it is not a right,” he said. “It’s a privilege. As a deputy of Saginaw County, you represent me. I’m the elected official.”
In an effort to enhance the ability of local law enforcement to do its job, Federspiel said he swears in nearly every police officer in Saginaw County. This instance, he said, is the first time he conferred deputy status on officers from outside the county.
“It’s a unique situation,” Federspiel said. “Now, when they are in Saginaw County working for CMU on the campus here they will have full authority.”