Juvenile offender unit disbanded in Wayne County

(WXYZ) - On Friday, the Wayne County Sheriff's Office disbanded its juvenile offender unit. 

Deputies in that unit have been tracking down young criminals for 20 years.

"It's not good," said Wayne County Sheriff's Deputy Jeremy Cady, talking about the end of a unit integral to public safety. Cady is also the first vice president of the deputy's union.

The Warrant Enforcement Bureau's Juvenile Offender Unit is made up of 12 deputies who have been tracking down serious juvenile offenders.

Cady says the unit is the only unit in Wayne County that does this type of work with juveniles--it's the only one that goes out and gets juveniles with warrants or writs to get them in front of a judge.

Wayne County Sheriff's Spokeswoman Paula Bridges says the deputies are being redeployed to the jail, 
because the Sheriff has been asked by the commissioners to cut down on chronic overtime there.

But many are wondering why not other deputies--why this particular unit?

"They're pulling personnel from different units to go into the jail," said Bridges. 

Bridges says the county,which funds the unit, signed off on this, but in a statement, the county executives office says: 

"The Sheriff is an independently elected official responsible for managing his budget as appropriated by the Wayne County Commission. The Sheriff has a variety of options for addressing his overspending that would have  far lesser impact on children and public safety  so we were surprised when he initiated these transfers."

We have also reached out to the Wayne County Commission for comment. 

At this point, it's not clear who, or if anyone, will take over the role of that critical unit. 

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