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Posted on Sat, Nov 12, 2011 : 10:30 a.m.

New Saline police chief will be given choice of second in command

By Lisa Allmendinger

It looks as though the Saline Police Department will have to wait until a new chief is chosen to find out who will become the department’s second in command.

Saline Police Chief Paul Bunten is expected to retire in July, and he had proposed a reorganization of the department that would promote a current sergeant into a lieutenant’s position as the second in command. But, that wasn’t the consensus opinion of the City Council Monday night during a second work session on the proposed reorganization.

Todd Campbell, city manager, was directed to “wait until a new chief was chosen for a new structure, depending on the time it takes until the chief does retire.”"

When asked if Bunten’s plan to retire in July had changed, he said, “I don’t know yet.”

The chief said previously that the structural changes were proposed to create efficiency, save money and keep the same level of service for residents. He’d hoped to train the second in command before he retired for a seamless transition to a new chief.

Councilman Brian Marl said he was “worried about the dynamic” in the department with a new chief and a hand-picked second in command at the top of the organizational chart. However, the majority of the City Council felt it was important that the new chief be given the opportunity to choose a second in command.

The current organizational chart has a deputy chief as the second in command, but with the retirement of Jack Ceo earlier this year, the Saline Police Department has not filled the position, and apparently, it won’t until a new chief is selected. Bunton had proposed having a lieutenant as the second in command and promoting the two current sergeants to “spread shift responsibilities over all three shifts.”

Currently, there’s one chief and the deputy chief’s position, which is vacant. There are two sergeants, an administrative assistant and a part-time records employee. There are eight full-time and three part-time patrol officers and seven non-paid reserves.

In addition, there are three full-time fire and police dispatchers and five part-time dispatchers. There are 17 part-time crossing guards, a full-time crime investigator, a full-time juvenile and crime prevention officer and 17 cadets.

Lisa Allmendinger is a regional reporter for She can be reached at For more Saline stories, visit our Saline page.


Terrence J. O'Hagan, JD

Sun, Nov 13, 2011 : 9:30 p.m.

It seems Paul, that we're all retiree's now, or worse, gone over already! What happens to the time? We're a long way from the Campus "Riots", but the memories never ever pass! I've followed your career from time to time as I've always had a fondness for good and Honest cops and you've been a top model for them, someone for the youngsters to emulate! Never loose your sense of humor. Happy Days in your retirement! Terry O'Hagan


Sun, Nov 13, 2011 : 11:51 a.m.

Congrats to Paul when he retires. We'll miss you. Wally & Diane