Two local Michigan law enforcement agencies have merged. According to Fox17, the 141-year-old Howard City Police Department has merged with the Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office.

The move comes amid rising administrative costs, including wages, liability and health insurance for Howard City police, Fox17 said. Sheriff Bill Barnwell that after two failed proposals to help fund his office, this new arrangement will allow him to bring in new deputies.

“We’re probably going to average around 50-60 thousand dollar savings per year,” Michael Scott, village president said.

According to Fox17, Howard City’s contract with Montcalm County expires on New Year’s Eve 2016, at which point they can either renew the contract or reestablish their own police department.

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