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Municipal Debt: Police, Fire Department Merger Attempts Spark Union Fights

WASHINGTON — David Micallef never thought he’d be involved in a labor dispute at age 25, much less assuming a lead role in one. But as president of his local fire union, Micallef has been leading his fellow firefighters in a long-running …

WASHINGTON — David Micallef never thought he’d be involved in a labor dispute at age 25, much less assuming a lead role in one. But as president of his local fire union, Micallef has been leading his fellow firefighters in a long-running fight with the city of Harper Woods, Mich. Their beef? They say the city is trying to turn them into cops.

“If I wanted to be a police officer, I would have gone to the police academy,” Micallef says.

Next month, residents in this Detroit suburb of 14,000 will head to the polls to vote on a proposal to merge Harper Woods’ police and fire departments and start cross-training personnel.

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