Another hearing will be held later this month to discuss levying a special property tax assessment to help fund the department.
More than 100 people packed Tuesday night's hearing offering input on the plan being proposed by the city's state appointed Emergency Financial Manager.
Joe Harris says Benton Harbor can't afford to keep officers without it after voters rejected two millage renewals on Election Day.
Many at the meeting said the circumstances were not properly explained before the election.
Many there seemed okay with the idea of paying more taxes to save the police department but also question other financial issues the city is facing.
It doesn't do us any good to find different cups to put water in the bucket," said Harris. "When are we gonna start plugging up some of the holes in the bucket that we already got?"
"It's time we pull ourselves up," the city's police chaplain responded. "We always got our hands out, but there are things that we can do. We waste money going on doing other things. Take care of your police. They're taking care of you."
A second public hearing on the special assessment issue will be held on Monday, December 17 at 6 p.m. at 200 Paw Paw Avenue near downtown Benton Harbor.
If Harris decides against a special assessment his other options are to disband the police department and have the county sheriff deputies cover the area...another is filing for bankruptcy.