Consolidation of Small Police Departments

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Public Perception of a Police Department Consolidation

John M. Ellsworth
Eastern Michigan University
School of Staff and Command

Table of Contents
Public Perception of a Police Department Consolidation0
1.Geographical Information (Moran, 2007)2
History of the Walled Lake & Wolverine Lake Police Service Sharing Agreement2
The current Walled Lake & Wolverine Lake Police Shared Services Agreement3
In the beginning…5
The Survey6
Walled Lake on-line Survey9
Wolverine Lake Residential Survey15

This thesis will examine the public perception of the consolidation of two of Michigan’s small police departments, The City of Walled Lake and the Village of Wolverine Lake into one larger, more efficient police department. 1. Geographical Information [ (Moran, 2007) ]

City of Walled Lake
Population: 6,713
Geographic: 2.5 sq. miles, includes residential, commercial, and lake. Approximate Savings: estimated at $300,000 per year, including personnel, equipment, and opportunities afforded by participation in the Federal DEA task force.

Village of Wolverine Lake
Population: 4,415
Geographic: 1.7 sq. miles, includes residential and lake.
Approximate Savings: estimated at $200,000 per year, including personnel and equipment. History of the Walled Lake & Wolverine Lake Police Service Sharing Agreement 1 August 1994 – Wolverine Lake transfers afternoon dispatch to Walled Lake, beginning an era of increased cooperation between the departments, including automatic mutual aid. 2 2005 to 2007 – Plante & Moran studied consolidated police and fire services for four communities: Wixom, Commerce, Walled Lake, and Wolverine Lake. Study funded by Oakland County CCRIF (County Capital and Cooperative Initiative Revolving Fund). 3 February 2007 – Joint scheduling agreement reached. Both departments scheduled and organized as a single department with 12-hour shifts on patrol. Patrol, dispatch, records, lock-up centralized in Walled Lake. Wolverine Lake Police Department facility closed to the public. 4 February 2007 to May 2008 – Communities negotiated a permanent shared services agreement. Negotiating teams included elected officials, staff, and police personnel. 5 June 2008 – Shared services agreement in effect. Officers deputized in both jurisdictions. 6

The current Walled Lake & Wolverine Lake Police Shared Services Agreement Contract term of initial shared services agreement is five years. Dispatch agreement extended three years. Both Agreements set to expire June 30, 2013. 8


Shared Services Agreement
1 Officers from each community remain employees of that community. 2 Communities agree to use best efforts to concurrently negotiate future union contracts. 3 Equipment and other expenses split 2/3 Walled Lake and 1/3 Wolverine Lake. 4 New combined logo Badges on uniforms and cars - logo created by members of department. 5 Forfeiture dollars will be used to increase and enhance future investigations, training, equipment, operations, and programs including drug education and awareness, and a new/updated police headquarters. In accordance with Federal law, forfeiture dollars will not be used to replace or supplant current budget or resources of the department. 6 Agreement contains clauses for dispute resolution and disengagement from agreement. 7 Wolverine Lake pays for a part-time officer for lake patrol. Advantages beyond cost savings:

1 Smaller overall force without a reduction in total patrol time – greater visibility; 2 Ability to operate a 12-hour shift schedule, increasing road coverage; 3 Better able to schedule around vacations, court time, disability, etc.; 4 More overall force available for large events such as hydroplane races and fireworks; 5 Decrease in overtime hours necessary to handle incidents, prisoner...
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