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Hamtramck police chief could receive bonuses despite emergency management

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Hamtramck Police Chief Max Garbarino Hamtramck Police Chief Max Garbarino
The incentive offers an additional $1,000 each month overtime is cut by 50 percent. The incentive offers an additional $1,000 each month overtime is cut by 50 percent.
HAMTRAMCK, Mich. (WJBK) -

The city of Hamtramck is under emergency management but at least one high-ranking official could be getting a hefty bonus every month.

Councilman Anam Miah says since the emergency manager has taken over, Hamtramck is down to 30 police officers. And now only two cops work per shift instead of four to drive down costs in a city which is now under state control for a second time.

If the city is so broke, many don't understand why Police Chief Max Garbarino is being offered financial incentives.

On top of a $91,000 salary, a clause in his contract offers Chief Garbarino an additional $1,000 each month he cuts overtime by 50 percent.

"I don't think that should be contingent on any contract. That should be determined by what's the need of the community," says Miah.

"I absolutely understand that and, first impression, I would see where people would have a problem with that," says Garbarino.

Even Detroit's police chief, who is also under the control of an emergency manager, doesn't have built-in bonuses.

Some are worried that Chief Garbarino could put his paycheck in front of the safety of his officers and residents. But he tells FOX 2's Taryn Asher he has not been paid yet, and does not believe he'll actually ever reach that goal.

The emergency manager Kathy Square says this is a managing incentive. Overtime in Hamtramck last year was $600,000, or the equivalent to hiring 10 new officers. Controlling these costs now, she says, will help make sure the city doesn't end up in this position again.

She tells Asher the overtime pay was getting so out of control some of the officers were making more than the police chief.

"I'm definitely going to make sure that they respond accordingly. I'm not going to put my own contract ahead of the safety of the citizens or my officers," says Garbarino.

But when a city is understaffed and undermanned, some feel Hamtramck is just asking for trouble.

"That's a serious risk I feel. Only two officers on road, you got two calls - what do you do?" asks Miah.

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