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Budget cuts in Branch County

A southern Michigan sheriff says he’s discontinuing night and overnight patrols because of budget cuts put into place earlier this year. Branch County Sheriff John Pollack made the announcement at a Monday night county government meeting. In a statement, officials say Michigan State Police are expected to help provide the county with 24-hour law enforcement coverage. The sheriff’s department had been covering the Monday-Friday day shift and the midnight shift each day with four deputies per shift. Pollack says safety was a concern, because sick days, vacation time and other factors sometimes left only one or two deputies on duty. Under the plan, the sheriff’s department will staff a shift 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and state police will cover the remaining time.  (AP)