REED CITY — State legislators say it had to be done.

Michigan State Police command says it is a money-saving move that will actually improve service and make operations more efficient.

But when Troopers at Reed City’s MSP Post close the building to the public, and bid farewell to post commander Lt. Andrea Nerbonne, many residents believe it is going to make a huge difference in the Osceola County community.

Those involved in the decision notes that it isn’t only the Reed City Post that is undergoing dramatic change. MSP operations around the state are morphing, evolving, and changing in any number of communities.

In interviews following the announcement, it was pointed out that Troopers will actually still be out on the road and MSP presence on the highways and byways of Osceola County will not change.

While such comments are encouraging, it’s impossible to say nothing is changing.

For the first time in decades, since the creation of a Reed City MSP Post, that Post will be closed to the public.

The building will be there. The Troopers will muster there each morning. But the door will be shut tight.

That’s big stuff for the Osceola County community.

Still, MSP command — also changing as it is — is making every effort to look at the cup half full.

“This office will be closed,” Nerbonn said

“Still, in very practical terms, the only real difference will be that the front door will be locked. There will not be open office hours.

“This building will become a post in which Troopers and support staff work everyday, but there will be no office services to the public.”

Nerbonne, as post commander, is being reassigned, to the Lakeview Post where she will command a new district including Montcalm, Gratiot, and Ionia counties.

The lieutenant running the Mount Pleasant Post will be assigneed command of the Osceola County area with the statewide redistricting, placing Reed City at the furthest point from the new command’s administrative center.

Replacing Nerbonne in command of the Osceola County patrol area will be Lt. Chris Stolicker.

“He’s a nice guy,” reported Nerbonne.

People needing specific MSP services regarding Osceola County issues that can’t be handled locally by municipal or county law enforcement, will need to deal with the Mount Pleasant Post — in one way or the other.

“There will be no physical office presence here,” continued Nerbonne. “We will continue to have a call-box. Folks can use the call-box to contact 9-1-1 if needed. People will be able to make appointment to meet Troopers at the Post if necessary.

“There will be some administrative staff here in Reed City, but they will not be serving the public.”

Two sergeants will be assigned to the RC Post, but they will not be desk sergeants as have been on duty up to this point. Each will be assigned a squad of Troopers and work out of different offices — RC and Morton Township — to offer a more flexible command structure.

“Sergeants will be out on the road more,” noted Nerbonne. “They will have administrative duties but will be less behind the desk and certainly less an office presence then they have been.

“I expect local law enforcement offices will see a considerable uptick in the number of walk-in clients — especially when it comes to the registration of sex offenders each quarter. With our doors being closed, someone will need to pick up the walk-in business.

“On the road, we’ll have Troopers carrying out the patrols we need to have them doing.

“Where people will notice an obvious difference is in the service offered through the Post office.

“Again, the front door will be closed.”

While road patrol may be the same, the public will see things differently.

The RC Post has “always” been a function in the Osceola community.

Now it will become, in effect, a closed administrative center and a locker room.

There’s a new reality in town.

“We, both the Troops and the public, are going to need to do things a little differently,” said Nerbonne.

“The commander and team of this Post have long had a direct connect to this community. That’s going to change although we’ll do our best to make sure folks know we still are a part of this and every community we serve.

“Our public liaison Trooper will still be doing what he does. I expect that as the post commander leaves this specific location, he will become even busier than he has been.

“We want to maintain our contact with the public.”

All he transitional moves being undertaken by the MSP are expected to be completed by Oct. 10.

The Reed City specific changes are expected to be completed by mid-April.

At that point, the doors will close.

Some say nothing will really change.

For the Osceola County and Reed City communities, time will tell.