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Posted on Sun, Sep 12, 2010 : 10:03 a.m.

Cost of police services scrutinized as Ypsilanti, Ypsilanti Township discuss joint department

By Tom Perkins

Sheriff Clayton.jpg

Sheriff Jerry Clayton is pictured in front of the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Department.

Tom Perkins | For

A move by Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township to explore a shared police department has reignited a decades-long discussion over regionalized policing in Washtenaw County.

The newest round of talks, with both sides set to meet Monday, follow cuts this year that have left fewer officers on the road in both the city and the township.

Thus far, few details of how a regional policing authority would work have been disclosed. The city and township also haven't said whether consolidation would save money and how much.

But Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton is already questioning whether such an arrangement would be beneficial to the county’s policing efforts or would be financially viable for both communities.


The city currently has its own police department, while Ypsilanti Township contracts for police services from the county Sheriff's Department. The township, with a $4.8 million police services budget, has by far the largest contract for police services from the county.

Clayton argues a new policing authority would add additional jurisdictional boundaries and contends the Sheriff's Department already provides police protection countywide at a lower cost than surrounding agencies.

Including overtime costs, Ypsilanti Township pays $161,000 per deputy — or "police services unit" — while Ypsilanti pays an estimated $242,000 per officer on the street, according to Clayton's analysis. 

However, those numbers don't tell the full story of the cost of providing police services, officials on all sides of the issue say.

Officials from the City of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township have underscored their talks are only preliminary. On Monday, the Ypsilanti Township Board of Trustees and Ypsilanti City Council will meet for a session to discuss the issue.

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Ypsilanti Mayor Paul Schreiber

Ypsilanti Mayor Paul Schreiber said the city's interest in exploring the option stems from its uncertain financial situation.

"We have already had to cut several police officers, and in 2012 we are going to have more issues," he said. "It's incumbent upon us to look at every option."

Ypsilanti eliminated 2.5 positions from its police force in July, while the township decreased its ranks from 38 to 31 after a millage failed last November.

Ypsilanti Township is again asking voters to approve a police services millage in November. Should it fail, township officials said they'll likely lose at least two more deputies.

Representatives from the Sheriff's Department haven't officially been invited to Monday's meeting, but Clayton said he'll attend. He said any new arrangement impacts the entire county and how effectively and efficiently all law enforcement officers can perform their jobs. He said he'll push for a more “global” discussion on the issue.

“The city and township need to look at the creation of a new department from a countywide perspective,” he said, stressing he won't sit on the sidelines during the discussion.

Clayton pointed to past studies that have shown such arrangements greatly benefit one community over another.

“An educated community is our best partner, so let’s fill in all the gaps around the facts as much as we can, because in the absence of facts, myths emerge,” he said.

The cost of policing Washtenaw County

Including $10,000 budgeted for overtime and a 4 percent rate increase in the 2011 fiscal year, those who contract with the county pay just over $161,000 per police services unit. A PSU is one deputy position - an average deputy earns around $62,000 annually plus benefits worth roughly $35,000 - but the PSU cost also covers the car and gun allowance. The contracting agencies also pay a small portion of indirect costs such as liability insurance, technology and training.

The contracting townships and villages also gets access the detective bureau, marine patrol, 12 general fund deputies and animal control, which are paid for entirely by the county. The sheriff's administration, WCSD headquarters and overhead are also picked up by the county.

The overhead costs and what percentage of indirect costs are shouldered by the contracting agencies have been a source of debate over the years.


Sheriff's Deputy Eugene Rush looks over paperwork during a recent patrol in Superior Township.

File photo

Although the cost-per-deputy increases have outpaced inflation over the past several years, the county has continued to subsidize policing costs. That's a point of contention among commissioners who represent cities and townships with their own police departments.

Clayton's analysis of the cost per officer on the street across the county shows Ypsilanti Township and others who contract through the county have the lowest rates, while Ann Arbor has the highest.

But some police chiefs cautioned that "officers on the street" isn't defined the same at each department, nor do the figures include detectives, command or administrative officers.

Saline Police Chief Paul Bunten said that for any comparison between departments to be accurate, it would need to look at more than budgeted dollars and officers on the road.

Ypsilanti Township contracts for 31 "police service units" at a cost of $161,000 per deputy. The City of Ann Arbor has 71 officers assigned to the street and an overall police budget of $26 million, equating to roughly $366,000 per officer. The City of Ypsilanti has a $4.6 million police budget for 19 officers on the street - or $242,000 per officer. Pittsfield Township operates with a budget of $5.1 million with 24 officers on the street, at a rate of approximately $212,000 per officer.

When factoring in the number of sworn officers at each department - including command officers - the figure per officer decreases across the board.

For example, the Sheriff's Department lists a total of 43 positions for Ypsilanti Township, including command, bringing the per unit figure to roughly $112,000. Ypsilanti has 32 sworn officers, dropping its per unit total to around $143,000. Ann Arbor’s 124 sworn officers come at a cost of roughly $210,000 each. Pittsfield Township employs 37 sworn officers at a cost of approximately $138,000 per officer.

The difference between "officers on the street" and total sworn officers is attributed to command personnel, detectives and other specialized positions.

When comparing the level of police service for each municipality, Ypsilanti Township has the lowest number of officers per capita.

The township has one deputy for every 1,700 residents, equating to roughly $92 per resident in costs. The City of Ypsilanti provides one officer on the street for every 1,022 residents, at a cost of $237 per resident. Ann Arbor puts an officer on the street for every 1,520 residents, at a cost of $238 per resident. And Pittsfield Township employs one officer for every 1,550 residents, at a cost of $137 per resident.

Scio Township and Superior Township residents spend $82.50 and $110.87, respectively, per resident on police services. Both townships contract through the county.

In addition, the Sheriff's Department now has 12 general fund deputies entirely paid for by the county. Those deputies fill in for the various contracting areas as needed. For example, a general fund deputy would fill in for a deputy who went on military or sick leave in one of the contracting areas. General fund deputies are also used to respond to areas of the county with no contracted police coverage, such as Augusta Township.

The Sheriff's Department spent roughly $21.5 million of its $40 million budget this year on policing. Officials estimate receiving $13 million in revenues from contracting jurisdictions.

A decade of cost increases

Ypsilanti Township officials say the unpredictable year-to-year cost jumps from the county makes long-term planning impossible. For that reason, the township wants to rely less on the county for policing, officials say.


Ypsilanti Township Director of Police Services Mike Radzik

Ypsilanti Township Director of Police Services Mike Radzik said the structure for providing police services and funding is flawed. Clayton, an elected official, is in charge of the service delivery, while the Board of Commissioners holds its purse strings.

"It is just problematic on so many different levels," he said, noting it would be "negligent" not to consider other options.

The cost of contracting with the county has jumped from $83,000 per police services unit in 2004 to $161,000 in 2011 - an approximately 90 percent increase. Fiscal year 2011 brings a 4 percent increase, while rates rose 17 percent and 34 percent in 2007 and 2008, respectively.

Ypsilanti Township, Augusta Township and Salem Township sued the county in 2006 over those rising costs. A judge ruled against the townships in what turned into a years-long and expensive battle.

The bulk of the cost increases have been attributed to a miscalculation of the true contracting costs when the county began contracting for services in 2000. The county failed to include many of the operational costs needed per police services unit.

County officials have also said part of those cost increases are due to shifting more of the burden to the contracting agencies instead of subsidizing the costs with county dollars, as well as to the rising costs of providing services.

Clayton said he expects the contract rates to stabilize. He said the Police Services Steering Committee will make a recommendation to the county board in the coming months on what to charge per deputy.

Commissioners have the final say on what the jurisdictions are charged.

Clayton said the county board will have to make a “philosophical choice” about policing. He said some individuals on the board are vocally opposed to providing police services, while some believe it is a core service of the county.

"The sheriff’s office role is to try and strike a balance," Clayton said. "My hope is that we have a structure where the price isn't so high that the current contracting jurisdictions and future jurisdictions can't afford it ... and having the contract so low that the financial liability on the county is so great that it sucks up all the money and they can't fulfill other responsibilities."

Commissioner Wes Prater, whose district includes part of Ypsilanti Township and York and Augusta townships, said he believes the cost of providing police services is already beginning to stabilize.

“I think it’s important that when you begin to look at all the things that matter, law enforcement services are important, and it’s hard to have good economic development without good law enforcement," he said.

County Commissioner Jeff Irwin, whose district represents the city of Ann Arbor, questioned why cities with their own departments - comprising 70 percent of the county's population - should shoulder so much of the burden for the townships' police coverage. He said he would like to see the county receive 85 percent of what it spends on the contracting jurisdictions, instead of the current level of 60 percent to 75 percent.

Irwin said Ypsilanti Township officials call public safety a top priority but continue cutting deputies and asking the county to pay for police services, which means it has to cut from other countywide services.

"There are some communities that are benefiting from this situation and some communities that are sucking wind," Irwin said.

Ypsilanti Township Clerk Karen Lovejoy-Roe said it boils down to "control and knowing your destiny in terms of the financial side.”

"You always have to depend on ‘Do you have the votes over there?'" she said. “Sheriff Clayton needs to get a long-term contract out of the Board of Commissioners with those rates locked down. I believe he would want to, but he’s just like us - he can’t force them to do that. It’s all about the politics of the county Board of Commissioners and whether or not they want to be in the business of providing police services.”

Editor's note: The number of officers in Ypsilanti and corresponding calculations have been corrected.

Tom Perkins is a freelance writer for Reach the news desk at or 734-623-2530.



Fri, Mar 25, 2011 : 7:58 p.m.

What we must look at is how to combine forces from multiple townships into a single force that can provide specific coverage to a given township while benefitting from the combination of core services such as administration, purchasing, dispatching, etc. The annual salary of $62,000 is not out of line considering what is expected of the officers. I would not work a job where I put my life in direct danger every day for that price. It is time for our communities to come together and develop a plan to reduce the overall cost of local government. The schools have the same issue as for the size of this region, we have far too many individual school districts.


Mon, Sep 13, 2010 : 10:21 p.m.

Mick52, You are incorrect. The regional police academies around the state require at minimum an associates degree in order to enroll. Yes the minimum standards is 18 years of age because the Michigan State Police and Detroit Police department still sponsor cadets through the academy. The other 25 or so academies will accept sponsored cadets from departments however 99 percent of all cadets are pre-service and must at least have an associates degree with many having bachelors or master's degree. Here is a copy of the entry requirements at the Washtenaw Police Academy to prove my point. For all of the people who complain about the compensation, it may be true that the total compensation of $110,000 is well above the national average of $60,000 however that doesn't tell the whole story. The $60,000 figure includes all occupations. When you look at compensation based on occupations that require college or specialized training the compensation increases radically. I will acknowledge that part of the problem is the pension system and much like the private sector our municipalities and counties must look at defined contribution systems as an alternative.

Mr. Ed

Mon, Sep 13, 2010 : 9:10 p.m.

Scratch My Head that is a good deal. for all involved. Ypsilanti City then could use the money saved for the Water Street project. It really makes more sense than to reinvent the wheel. It would be a better deal than getting sucked into a deal with the Twp of Ypsilanti. The Twp appears to always want and want. But the Twp has never been serious about PS any ways.


Mon, Sep 13, 2010 : 8:34 p.m.

So if I understand this article, if Ypsilanti City contracted with the sheriffs dept for 19 street officers, it would have cost just over $3 mill and we'd get all the command and other support with that instead of $4.6 mill for "our own". Is this right? Wouldn't the sheriff hire the ypsi cops like he did with the dispatchers? I say less goverment is best and save us $1.5 mill!!!


Mon, Sep 13, 2010 : 4:06 p.m.

As a form LEO I have always questioned the $ amount the WCSD charges townships. I do not think it fair to add for supervision as many departments are top heavy, as one in this discussion noted earlier. I always wished that LE rose to the level of hospital nursing. Both jobs are very similar: public service, 24/7/365 schedule, shift work. My point it that it would be nice to have police officers who do not need a supervisor overseeing everything they do. However nursing is much more professional. By that I mean that nurses do not have multiple layers of supervision and generally perform their tasks knowing exactly what needs to be done and follow through with the needs of the person needing care. Nurses are required to have a college degree and the schooling is quite difficult. Contrarily, police training is about the easiest classes you would ever take. There is no requirement for a college degree in Michigan for police officer qualifications: Here is a job posting from Wyoming, MI: No college degree required. Kind of hard to get a college degree when you can apply with a minimum age of 18. Some departments require college, but often will settle for a combination of education and experience. The State Police train their officers better than any agency in Michigan and troopers often carry their cases up to asking for a warrant, lessening the need for a detective. I wonder what MSP would charge townships for coverage under a similar arrangement? All I am saying is that if how we do police work is reformed a bit, that may save some costs. Ypsi and Ypsi Twp should certainly look at combining, except that YpsiPD has a contract. The best situation would be to start a new department and develop what the community thinks is appropriate in terms of total compensation. There are so many officers out of work it should not be hard to receive lots of applications. The cost of benefits here needs to be described better. This info should be open. What HC plans and what the cost is, retirement costs, etc. It might make more (or less) sense if we could see the breakdown.

Jay Thomas

Mon, Sep 13, 2010 : 10:51 a.m.

Forget about saving money in Ypsi.... $366,000 per officer in A2? That's a crime itself. :(


Mon, Sep 13, 2010 : 7:43 a.m.

@Jhawkfan - I'm with you. This is exactly why I voted for the man as well! @reddog801 - "Jerry Clayton has his tail tucked between his legs and is running scared" ARe you nuts?? If he was running scared, he wouldn't be crashing a meeting he wasn't invited to. Good for him to make sure he's involved in a meeting that has alot to do with his job! It's high time the city and the township merge. Dump the city's chief or bump her ass back to Lt so she can finish her first year's probation and turn the YPD into a Sheriff's station house. That's what I say!

Mr. Ed

Mon, Sep 13, 2010 : 6:01 a.m.

I agree with Williams almost. If the cost is better than the Sheriff's Office then we should explore the consolidation. The response times are tied by the number of deputies working the streets. 31 deputies for Ypsilanti Twp is far from the staffing that is necessary, If you used 1.5 deputies then the number of deputies would go from the current 31 to 34. If you went to 1 per thousand then the number would be 51 deputies for Ypsilanti Twp. The number in this case needs to be higher because of all the crime. Consolidation is better served when the cost is shared by a larger group. I would agree again with Williams. Both communities should explore other options. If you look at the numbers Ypsilanti City has 30 sworn and they only have 18 working the streets. I just don't see where our taxes will go down if we consolidate the two. Maybe if we combined the two governments then we could see some real savings.


Mon, Sep 13, 2010 : 4:02 a.m.

I am an Ypsilanti Township resident. I voted no on the last round of deputies and I will be voting no again this time. The cost has skyrocketed and it's not fair to the residents of the township. Jerry Clayton is just trying to scare everyone. See what he is not telling you that the only responsibility the sheriffs department has in a county is to house prisoners and provide transportation of those said prisoners to court hearings. Thats it!! Jerry Clayton has his tail tucked between his legs and is running scared. Why? Because a consolidation between the city and the township would take away a lot of money being paid to the sheriffs department. Which by the way I can count on one hand how many times I have seen a sheriff deputy in my neighborhood on routine patrol since I moved here 5 years ago. I've seen them on calls several times but just routine patrols do not happen in my neighborhood even though we are right off of Ecorse rd and there are always deputies up and down there. Again, Jerry Clayton is just trying to install fear in the boards and is trying to derail the process. Ypsilanti City already has a good police department. It's established. They have the vehicles, building, command staff and chief. The township would have to pay for a few more officers so that they can patrol the township and the city effectively but they would come at a considerable less price than they are paying to the county. I highly respect the job that each deputy does, but there comes a time and a place where consolidation is needed and right now is a good time to do it. Even combining Fire departments at this point would be good for the city and the township. It can work. Keep Jerry Clayton away from the meeting that he was not invited to and the two sides can get some work accomplished. Enough of this sheriff pushing these townships around. Besides he has more to do than be at this meeting, like giving that deputy that was accused of rape and was fired from the county after internal afairs found him NOT GUILTY on all charges. Get to work Jerry Clayton, worry about your affairs and not the affairs of two communities struggling and trying to work together.


Mon, Sep 13, 2010 : 1:26 a.m.

It is time to explore this possibly to save costs for the township and Ypsilanti city. I am surprised that this was not done years ago. Ypsilanti Township is big enough within itself, that it needs a dedicated police force to control crime, provide timely services and be able to respond to its' residents. Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township are frankly separated by streets. To most outsiders, they would not know where both areas start and end. Both areas are looking at ways to save costs without increasing taxes on citizens, during a time when most families in these areas, are rubbing nickels together to sat afloat. I applaud the Ypsilanti Township Board and the city of Ypsilanti Government for sitting down and taking a look into this subject. Consolidation, save costs...period. Also, if the consolidation can be done and better services are provided to residents of both areas, all the more better! Sheriff Clayton is raising a fuss but...his department good intentions are not enough to really provide the services that are needed, in Ypsilanti Township. People that are opposing this possible plan, should have attend a Ypsilanti Township Board meeting in (I believe July) in which, residents across the township, in a variety of different areas...complained about police response time. If this plan has cost savings and can provide improved services; I believe that the residents of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township will vote overwhelmingly in favor for this plan.


Sun, Sep 12, 2010 : 11:56 p.m.

If the township does not contract for any deputies, the cost for every taxpayer in the county will increase. The the detective bureau, marine patrol, general fund deputies, animal control, and administrative costs will still exist. We need a better managed county. Township Trustees should be admonished for considering partnering with the city where the cost per officer is $237 per resident and recalled if they make such a decision. Why haven't they pursued partnering with Pittsfield Township, where the cost per officer is $137 per resident. The sad fact is that everyone in the county has to pay for a very expensive sheriff department in addition to a police force that actually protects their jurisdiction. Commissioner Wes Prater previously led the county board to charge his own jurisdiction excessively for county police services at the very same county board meeting where they voted him a job as road commissioner. Commissioner Jeff Irwin should devote more efforts into reducing the out of control costs of the Sheriff department and providing cost effective county wide service than he does pointing the finger of blame at the townships who are actually subsidizing the bloated Sheriff department.


Sun, Sep 12, 2010 : 9:24 p.m.

SW40... The reason that this figure is used is because when contracting with the Sheriff's Office all of those positions you pointed out (Sgt, Lt, Detective's) are part of your contract. So when comparing the price with the Sheriff's Office you have to only count the number of officers on the street because that is what you pay for through the Sheriff. All the 'extras' are part of the contract.


Sun, Sep 12, 2010 : 9:16 p.m.

A very good, much more thorough piece, Tom Perkins. Yeah, there will be those on either or any side with their complaints, but you did great work here. Thanks & all best in the future.


Sun, Sep 12, 2010 : 8:11 p.m.

Alright everyone pay attention, the $366,000 figure is based upon taking the total budget of 26 Million divided by 71 (amount of officers assigned to road patrol). The Ann Arbor police department doesn't have 71 officers they have 124. So 124 minus 71 equals 53. Those 53 officers are administrators (chiefs, deputy chiefs, Lieutenants etc.) then you have detectives, school resource officers, property officers and other specialized units. Also not mentioned in the article is that the City of Ann Arbor is down 80 officers in the last 10 years, YEP EIGHTY OFFICERS, basically half the department is gone. The economy is in the toilet and although the politicians like to skew the facts by saying crime stats have remained steady the truth is the crime is out of control especially in certain areas of both cities. In terms of the areas the County Sheriff's department is responsible for I suggest some of you take a trip to Macarthur Blvd or West Willow on a Friday or Saturday night and figure out what a reasonable salary is for a deputy or police officer. Police officers are required by the State of Michigan to have a college education and then attend an academy, so I'm ok with them making a decent living considering the requirements and dangers the job comes with. I realize its fun to bash the officers and their compensation but as someone who has many friends who are police officers and firefighters I'd rather just say thank you and go about my day.

Mr. Ed

Sun, Sep 12, 2010 : 6:45 p.m.

If the numbers are accurate then the choice is clear for many different reasons. Ypsilanti Twp spends 92 bucks per year for police services from the Sheriff's Office what a deal. I can't believe that Ypsilanti Twp is complaining. Ypsilanti City spends 237.00 per resident for police services. It would appear that Stumbo and crew need to step up the number of cops in Ypsilanti Twp 1700 per cop is really low, no wonder crime is out of control. How much does Ypsilanti Twp pay for legal services compared to other communities their size? I noticed in the minutes that the budget was increased well over a hundred thousand for legal services. I thought the legal department reduced their cost to help out the Twp. It appears to be a shell game of money. Ive always been happy with the services provided by our Sheriffs.


Sun, Sep 12, 2010 : 6:41 p.m.

Here is one of the huge problems with the city of Ann arbors ballooned numbers for what a road officer costs. That number solely divides the total policing budget by the actual road officers, not taking into account the ridiculously absurd amount of command officers that the city has and never cut during the past 7 years. The department has decreased almost 80 positions since 1996 and the bulk has been removed from the road patrol and detective bureau. Very very few command positions have been eliminated. The average sergeant makes 15 thousand more than a road officer and the average lieutenant makes 10 thousand over a sergeant. Everyone always wants to point the finger at the lowest guys on the totem pole first. I don't know the situation in the sheriff dept but look at the staffing numbers for AA and see for yourself. You'll be shocked to see where the cuts come from and who stays generally unaffected. In a time when the preaching is more with less, that is not the case with the upper portion of the department. I've seen days when there was only 4 road officers for the whole city and there was three desk sergeants. This is what the citizens should be in an uproar about.


Sun, Sep 12, 2010 : 6:16 p.m.

$366 thousand per a2 officer? How is that even possible? Come on? That has got to be a wrong figure. That's like the Feds paying $500 for hammers and a thousand for toilets. If that is what the city is claiming I'd like to see exactly where each dollar goes. The city administrator must have a million dollar a year package then.

Jessica 'Decky' Alexander

Sun, Sep 12, 2010 : 3:43 p.m.

As an Ypsilanti Township resident and taxpayer I applaud any effort to work with the city on shared resources and personnel. That said there are several concerns I have with the Townships take on police services. Among the many issues at bay in this discussion is what percentage of the the township police services millage actually goes DIRECTLY to policing vs. ordinances and the like. Additional issues that impact an authentic and honest conversation around policing, local government, and funds include in no particular order: the lawsuit filed by the township and the continued pursuing of this suit while still asking us/the residents to pass another millage to support police services; the amount of legal fees paid to the attorney, a friend of the township trustees, over the course of the suit, and the lack of general fund (and perhaps with good reason) resources directed towards any police services. I am all for a dialogue about sharing services and resources with Ypsilanti city as well as working with the county on contract stabilization, but before as township clerk, Susan Lovejoy Roe states we demand a, knowing of our financial destiny we need to demand and deal in the immediate, and some truths and transparency.


Sun, Sep 12, 2010 : 3:16 p.m.

Total cost per officer in A2 is 366 grand.Total cost per officer in the City of Ypsi is 255 grand. You've got to be kidding the taxpayers, this is ludidrous. Makes it look like those that pay taxes in Ypsi are getting a bargain. Both are too high but Ann Arbor's cost per cop is not even justifiable in any way. Time to dump the pensions and get all public employees on the same 401K tracks that everyone else enjoys.


Sun, Sep 12, 2010 : 1:02 p.m.

"an average deputy earns around $62,000 annually plus benefits worth roughly $35,000" That is a very high benefit rate. It would be interesting to see a breakdown of that number. For example, how much of that is for pension costs. The rest of us have 401k retirement plans but police still have a defined benefit plan that costs a fortune.


Sun, Sep 12, 2010 : 12:11 p.m.

If you take the politics out of the situation...the numbers speak for themselves. Basically what it boils down to is power and control. The township is willing to tax me more for control.


Sun, Sep 12, 2010 : 11:43 a.m.

In a county that has such a high tax rate. It makes me wonder why we have to cut at all. If the county police is covered by the county budget. And townships pay for services. It seems to me that with all that money the county is racking up. This should not be a issue. Where is all the moneyy being paid into the county going? It is not for police, fire or roads apparently. Maybe the county board needs to be independantly audited so that all can see exactly where all the money is going.


Sun, Sep 12, 2010 : 11:18 a.m.

This is exactly why I voted for Sheriff Clayton. To bring everyone to the table on this issue. To add his expertise. To not shy away from the difficult discussions.


Sun, Sep 12, 2010 : 11:09 a.m.

Hello ezbngreen - The trend of lower wages alarms many. Few like it. However, it is the reality of our new age of austerity, the great recession. Your suggestion of paying new hires lower wages is valid; such plans have been incorporated at many (non government) workplaces nationwide, and in fact, throughout the western world. Results are mixed; it doesn't take long for some new hires to feel like second class employees; this wage discovery can create performance issues. Many organizations are finding that uniform wage reductions work better than two tier wages: teamwork, shared sacrifice, common goals, no layoffs, etc. The lowered productivity and attitude adjustments are transient; the few who can't grow through a difficult period soon look elsewhere.


Sun, Sep 12, 2010 : 10:36 a.m.

These officers are compensated handsomely for their work.

Mark Grebner

Sun, Sep 12, 2010 : 10:26 a.m.

" Sheriff Clayton needs to get a long-term contract out of the Board of Commissioners with those rates locked down." I think it's a bad idea to insist on a solution that is impossible. No County Board can bind its successor by contract. Any long-term agreement is subject to rejection by a later Board, whether the contract explicitly reserves that power or not. The most that can be done is to make continued acquiescence attractive, and withdrawal unattractive, by allocation of assets and responsibilities at break-up.


Sun, Sep 12, 2010 : 9:07 a.m.

@ AlphaAlpha; I consider myself a responsible fiscal conservative. However I have observed a trend that alarms me. The trend now a days seems to focus on taking away from employees and expecting them to do more with less. I would argue that everyone would be better off trying to hire in new employees at a reduced rate rather than taking away from the ones who are already doing their job. The general sentiment regardless of the occupation returns to less productivity and a poor attitude aimed at those who the workers were hired to serve. The new employees know the rate for which they were hired and the old employees are grateful for that which they have not lost.


Sun, Sep 12, 2010 : 9:04 a.m.

Of course Sheriff Clayton is trying to derail Ypsi-Ypsi Twp's discussions on a regional police force. He plans to crash a meeting he wasn't even invited to??? He stands to lose power and authority if the sheriff's deputy force is downsized. Just look at the new multi-mil$ building he is standing in front of and needs to justify. For some county commish's, they stand to lose also since the economies of scale go down dramitically and they would have no choice but to pay to real cost of the services they receive for their contracting regions. The issue is so apparent that you have commish's such as Kristin Judge who openly advocate for disbanding her own township's police and dispatch forces so the county can take the service over. This is about a power grab for the county, not about better services. I don't recall reading anywhere about Pittsfield having poor or too costly police services to justify this. There would be no justification for the City of AA or Northfield Twp to do so either. Ypsilanti City and Township are rightly concerned about the county b/c they know that once they lock in to a certain plan with the county, then they lose big time. The county holds the strings and can raise rates later with little recourse by the townships other than to pay. Lovejoy makes a great point about the county in that only a long-term contract would make it feasible. Unfortunately for Ypsi, the only long-term county contract that would make sense would be a 20 year contract with no opt-out clause - not going to happen. The political winds every two years change constantly.


Sun, Sep 12, 2010 : 7:30 a.m.

$11,700,000 salary & benefits divided by 105 employees = $111,429 each. Would the $10,000 in overtime be added to this $111,428? Either way, these public employees are at the 95th percentile of all US workers... These numbers are far in excess of the BLS US national average total compensation of just under $60,000 per year. Perhaps reducing wages and benefits should be considered instead of reducing the size of the workforce...more officers working for fewer tax dollars.