You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Wed, Dec 16, 2009 : 12:10 p.m.

Ypsilanti Township reduces its police force by 18%

By David Wak


Ypsilanti Township will soon have seven fewer deputies on patrol. Deputy Dean Reich is pictured on a recent patrol shift.

Tom Perkins | For

As expected, Ypsilanti Township is reducing its police presence by 18 percent.

On Tuesday, the Board of Trustees approved a resolution to change the number of deputies from 38 to 31. The township first needed approval to alter its contract from the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners, which was granted last week.

The reductions come after a failed police millage in November. The township originally said it would need to slash 10 positions because of its serious financial problems.

The township was able to whittle that back to seven after making adjustments to staff and overtime funds, said Mike Radzik, the township's police services administrator.

Radzik said the township already reduced its police services funds by $1.5 million and simply can't afford the extra deputies.


Deputy Dean Reich stops a driver during a recent shift.

Tom Perkins | For

"Trust me, we have cut the fat out of every other place here," Radzik said.

Ypsilanti Township Supervisor Brenda Stumbo said she was sorry it came to this, but the township had no choice.

"We hate to reduce our police force, but the people have spoken and the revenues are reduced," Stumbo said.

Stumbo said the good news is none of the deputies will be laid off - they'll be assigned to other duties within the department. County Commissioner Jeff Irwin said they would likely get jobs at the jail or as dispatchers.

Radzik said the township's budget projections show decreases for the next five years, mostly due to the overall loss of taxable revenue and the closing of GM's Willow Run plant. He said the 2009 police budget is $5.7 million and is expected to decrease to $5.1 million by 2010, and eventually down to $3.9 million by 2013.

Out of the $5.1 million budgeted for law enforcement next year, $4.9 million will be used for police services, and the remaining $200,000 will be used for the township's ordinance department, Radzik said.

Radzik also said overtime costs ate away at the township's police budget. He said each deputy averaged about $10,000 in overtime annually, and the township paid $340,000 in overtime this year through October.

Irwin, the only commissioner who voted against the reduction, expressed concerns that township may need the services of the 13 road patrol deputies used to cover the entire county. He said that could take the road patrols away from the smaller rural townships that have no regular police protection.

Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton said he shares some of Irwin's concerns about a police shortage in the township, but supported the board of commissioners' decision. Stumbo said she hopes the township will be able to hire more deputies in the future.

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



Thu, Dec 17, 2009 : 6:31 p.m.

Piggybacking on Grinch's multiple points, our State taxes have been historically low with disastrous results. Our cities and townships have to make up the shortfall with higher property taxes; which makes businesses ponder: "we could go to MI for the lower income taxes and business tax credits, but which city won't screw us with high property taxes and crappy infrastructure?" The 2001 federal tax cuts averaged about $1300/yr for 99% of us ($500 for the bottom 80%), and $53,000 for the top 1%. The result was a fake recovery that lasted for about 4 years. And after all these real numbers, the solution must be..... more tax cuts?? As for the tried and true practice of blaming Unions for all the ill in the economy, during the last 20 years of MI tax cuts and 8 years of Bush tax cuts, union membership has dwindled (until recently). So we've had tax cuts and declines in union membership. I hate to break it to ya, but your tactics have not worked my friends..


Thu, Dec 17, 2009 : 5:32 p.m.

wlkate I don't know if this is on topic,but did'nt someone offer to buy the Silverdome for something like 20mil a few years ago and Pontiac said no?.If so it seems pontiac screwed up.I'm not disputing your point ( cause I'm really not sure what it is )I was just woundering


Thu, Dec 17, 2009 : 2 p.m.

Thick Candy Shell and The Grinch this is for you to read. Tell me again why citys townships and states give business tax breaks? The Pontiac Silverdome December, 15, 2009 Location: Pontiac, Mich. Price: $583,000 When Hulk Hogan bodyslammed Andre the Giant here during Wrestlemania III in 1987, it probably didn't hurt nearly as much as the stadium's selling price hurt Pontiac. The enclosed stadium, the home of the Detroit Lions and Pistons, cost $55.7 million to build before opening in 1975. Adjusted for inflation, that would be $220 million today. With all due respect to Michigan's struggles with the auto industry, a used car salesman would make more selling a 1975 AMC Gremlin than the 0.01% return Pontiac got when a Canadian developer won the Silverdome auction with a $583,000 bid last month. This was the home of Super Bowl XVI. Reported by Jason Notte in Boston.


Thu, Dec 17, 2009 : 10:39 a.m.

Didn't that dollar amount also include the "administrative" personnel that are required? If I remember correctly, the price per officer includes a portion of the non-police personnel that each one also requires.


Thu, Dec 17, 2009 : 9:03 a.m.

There will always be some overtime in emergency services. Things happen at odd hours, including shift changes, and employees are held over. This happens in health care, DTE, EMS, fire and police. It is hard to predict. Never-the-less $10,000 a year bespeaks some poor planning or staffing choices. If it was being done to cover staffing... The cost of a Deputy quoted is the cost to train, equip, and put them on the road in a car. The deputies get less and those being "reassigned" to lower paying jobs like dispatchers will probably be taking a pay cut but keeping a job. In Michigan this is a win. At some point there will be a tipping point where it is cheaper to have more but less expensive officers in a Township force makes sense. The Deputies took a voluntary pay cut but how many unemployed in this state would do the job for 75% of what they make?


Thu, Dec 17, 2009 : 8:41 a.m.

Grinch I'd be more happy if Michigan was'nt no. 1

The Grinch

Thu, Dec 17, 2009 : 6:46 a.m.

I LOVE it when people who think they are arguing with me actually make my point for me. Tax rates went down. Businesses left the state. Ergo, jobs don't necessarily stay when taxes are reduced. As for unions crushing business: South Carolina is a right-to-work (i.e., right-to-be-poor) state with a lower tax burden than Michigan, yet it has the 5th highest unemployment rate in the US. KY and FL (FL has no income tax) are tied for 7th. NC is 9th. Alabama 10th. TN 11th. GA 13th. MS 14th. All of these are right-to-be-poor states with low taxes, and their economies are little better than Michigan's. Gee, could it be that the presence of unions and the state's middle-of-the-pack per capita tax burden (25th of 50 states) have little to do with the state's economy? Naaaaah. Simple people who are angry need simple answers that pander to and assuage their anger. Taxes and unions: simple enough, and I guess putting it to unions feels good. Unfortunately, wrong, and until the state of Michigan understands its problems go far beyond those simple answers, we are doomed to remain an economic black hole.


Thu, Dec 17, 2009 : 5:51 a.m.

I pay $4K per year in property taxes and don't even have adequate police protection. Something is definitely wrong. Yep, Ypsilanti Township, putting residents first. Right.


Thu, Dec 17, 2009 : 5:51 a.m.

Maybe you could use one of your FOIA Fridays to get the information on how much, and to whom legal fees were paid on the very questionable lawsuit [that stunningly is still pending even though the Supreme Court rejected it] that was filed by the township against the County. I think there was probably enough money there to pay for the lost Deputies.


Thu, Dec 17, 2009 : 12:51 a.m.

The deputies didn't lose their jobs, they just were transferred to other areas. Why are they paid overtime?, because the bill to the township is for total services for the year. In fact, the sheriffs dept is currently hiring deputies, dispatchers and correction officers.The reduction for the township means little in actual police protection since most of the deputies serve all of the surrounding areas leaving the township frequently. Meanwhile, radzick makes 70k per year plus his sheriffs pension to "monitor" the sheriffs costs. How is there so much overtime when every year the police have to pay back for hours not used? Why did the board only take a.4% pay cut and improve their pensions when the afscme's got cut 20%. Now I heard they're going to lay off 12 firemen and close stations so they can use the money to pay off bonds that they owe. I would sell my house and move if it were worth anything.


Wed, Dec 16, 2009 : 10:37 p.m.

@TheGrinch and quoting you: " we've been cutting taxes in this state for twenty years and our economy is a disaster. That alone should make it clear that cutting taxes has little to anything to do with economic growth or, in this case, lack thereof." The taxable rate on income on a state level has been cut about 10%. This matters little when compared to the 700,000 manufacturing jobs we have lost over the past 9 years. You need to get a clue Mr. Grinch! GM, Ford and Chrysler and their Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 suppiers have gotten crushed by the UNIONS. Get your facts STRAIGHT my friend.

concerned citizen

Wed, Dec 16, 2009 : 9:17 p.m.

If you really want to save money in the township why don't you look at what you pay the police administrator and dump him. This would pay for at least one or two more deputies to protect you.


Wed, Dec 16, 2009 : 8:23 p.m.

People also have to realize that with so houses in foreclosure, those are taxes that are not being paid. Figure $1000 per year per house and do the math. In Ypsilanti Township alone, I can count about 30 homes on my way home from work. There are so many all over. I really don't think waste is the big problem or salaries of officials. You couldn't pay me enough to run Ypsilanti Township or be responsible for makeing decisions on where to make cuts. Not matter where the cuts are made, people loose jobs and people will complain. The economy just needs to get better to help the situation.


Wed, Dec 16, 2009 : 7:47 p.m.

What I dont understand is that the millage increase was defeated, and yet no Deputies will loose their jobs. How can this be? If Washtenaw County can keep the Deputies on the payroll then why were they trying to raise my taxes? If the Deputies can be kept on to work in the jail, then why cant they drive around the Township once in a while and look for crime? I dont know about you guys, but I think I smell a rat.

Thick Candy Shell

Wed, Dec 16, 2009 : 7:41 p.m.

I don't know where those tax cuts have been going, but I sure haven't seen them. I pay a 6% Sales tax, a 4.35% income tax, property tax, and additional taxes on "vices". The businesses that sell me my goods are also paying these taxes, plus the business tax. Seems to me on paying tax on the money I earn at least 3 or 4 times. Go figure that states that have a simpler and lower tax structure are doing better than MI.


Wed, Dec 16, 2009 : 7:28 p.m.

Grinch never knew rasing taxes could bring busineses back

The Grinch

Wed, Dec 16, 2009 : 7:05 p.m.

Simple fact: lacking $ from the federal gov't as in this year's stimulus package, the state will not be able to close a $3 billion deficit w/o raising taxes. We've been cutting taxes in this state for 20 years and our economy is a disaster. That alone should make it clear that cutting taxes has little if anything to do with economic growth or, in this case, lack thereof.

Thick Candy Shell

Wed, Dec 16, 2009 : 6:50 p.m.

I can not agree with taxes being raised. As it is, most people are having a very difficult time making it work. If you raise taxes many are close enough to loosing their house that they will just walk away. A job that pays the same or even less in Indiana means a whole lot more with the lower cost of living. All raising taxes will do is drive more people out. We already have one of the highest percentage tax burdens in the U.S. and it doesn't seem to be working. There may be certain taxes that could be raised, if it was a true usage tax for what could be considered a luxury and not a general overall tax that affects people who are living pay check to paycheck. As of yet I have not seen anything that should be approved.

The Grinch

Wed, Dec 16, 2009 : 6:35 p.m.

Thick Candy Shell: you are absolutely right about the need to reform the tax system. Business hates uncertainty, and businesses will not come to this state until it has its budgetary process on track. Counterintuitively, that means raising taxes, not lowering them, as business also knows that in order to provide basic services (e.g., road repair, schools, police and fire protection) more revenue is needed and therefore, at some point, taxes will need to be raised. And they will not come here until that happens because, until that happens, they will not be able project the long term costs of doing business in this state. So long as we keep cutting taxes, cutting basic services, and running huge budget deficits (projected state budget deficit next year is $3 billion), few businesses will come here to replace the 700,000 jobs we lost in the past decade. And, BTW, most of those jobs either disappeared entirely or went south of the border. It is mythology that those jobs went to low tax and right-to-be-poor states like South Carolina.

Thick Candy Shell

Wed, Dec 16, 2009 : 6:19 p.m.

@A2Dave, where are they going to find the magic pot of Money? There is no way raising taxes will do it. We have the worst environment for jobs in the U.S. and people can not seem to grasp the fact that we need to cut taxes to improve. No company will move here with out a reformed tax system in the long run and tax breaks in the short run.

The Grinch

Wed, Dec 16, 2009 : 6:05 p.m.

dading: you may not want to "here" (sic) about contracts, but they cannot be broken except by mutual agreement of the parties except under circumstances such as bankruptcy. So, are you actually saying that the law should not apply to the benfit of the officers who put their lives on the line to enforce the law? Amazing logic, that. Moreover, public safety personnel do a dangerous job for not enough pay now. Who in their right mind would put their lives on the line for even less pay? If the people of Ypsi township were unwilling to take a very small bite out of their incomes, a bite spread across everyone in the township, to fund the police, why should the police be willing to take a huge bite out of their pay to protect those very same people? You are asking the police to do what the people of the township were unwilling to do. Good luck at that. I'll be interested at seeing the intellectual somersaults you and others use to justify not paying higher taxes while demanding that the police take a pay cut. Talk about Alice Through the Looking Glass!!

dading dont delete me bro

Wed, Dec 16, 2009 : 4:42 p.m.

@grinch, yep, i agree, and yep, i took an involuntary 20% pay cut...why can't the deputies do something similiar? heck, why can't our wonderful township administration do the same? i said INVOLUNTARY, so i don't want to here about contracts and such. i will be dialing.45acp myself


Wed, Dec 16, 2009 : 4:13 p.m.

Call your Republican State Senate and tell them we don't want to be Mississippi North. State revenue sharing and grants have been cut/eliminated. Services--fire, police, transport, hospitals, schools--have to be maintained. Cut, cut, cut and pretty soon you're down to the bone and living in Mississippi.

Captain Magnificent

Wed, Dec 16, 2009 : 3:33 p.m.

Just think- if we had that Monorail that's been getting so much buzz recently then the police department might be able to save some money on police cars. I know it doesn't work in every situation, but I'm sure it would allow them to eliminate 3-5 cars- that's a bunch of money!


Wed, Dec 16, 2009 : 2:40 p.m.

Expect the recent crime wave in the Twp to get even worse.


Wed, Dec 16, 2009 : 2:20 p.m.

The Township pays the County $144,802.00 per Deputy - and we pay the Deputies over time? Who authorizes the Deputies to work over time? Can we expect the Deputies will work 18% more overtime now? If so, where is the savings to the Township?

The Grinch

Wed, Dec 16, 2009 : 2:16 p.m.

dading: reduced property values at current millage rate = decreased revenue = cuts in services. Couldn't be more simple. You get what you pay for or, in this case, what you don't pay for.


Wed, Dec 16, 2009 : 2:06 p.m.

Jeremy M Accutally its the twps west of the city limits are taxed the most and east of the city limits are taxed the least.The twps are on both north and south of 94 with Ypsi city in between


Wed, Dec 16, 2009 : 1:49 p.m.

That's not too bad. The Ann Arbor Police force is down 40%.


Wed, Dec 16, 2009 : 1:49 p.m.

@eyehearta2: I'm sure the wages are less, and they probably won't get any overtime...but I agree I don't think the amount of money 'saved' by doing this justifies the act.


Wed, Dec 16, 2009 : 1:40 p.m.

The simple reason why the millage increase did not pass is the people that are taxed the most (south of 94) never see police officer while people taxed the least (north of 94) have coninuous around the clock police presence. However, I will say this which is purely anecdotal, since the millage this fall failed I have seen a very noticeable increase of washtenaw county patrolmen south of 94. As for the argument why do we need a millage increase for same amount of officers. Its because property values have dropped and major tax contributes have left. So you don't have to be a math genius to realize that if the millage stays the same the total revenue falls and service reductions are required to remain balanced. As for Stumbo's "the people have spoken". Thats leadership. She could cut a many other things like close the library or layoff many people that help her do her job but she thought it best to put people lives and risk. The real question is why do we contract with county. Would it not be best to have our own police force or one combined with the city of Ypsilanti?


Wed, Dec 16, 2009 : 12:31 p.m.

I've heard talk of Ypsilanti police reduction every so often for the last couple years, and it always scares me. It looks like it really will happen this time. We need our police. I feel safe when I see an officer on patrol on my walk home at night; I really hope this police force reduction doesn't lend to tragedy.


Wed, Dec 16, 2009 : 12:28 p.m.

It will be very interesting to compare prior reduction figures for police usage and revenue generating activities to next years figures. I hope investigative hours don't reduce and ticketing increase.

dading dont delete me bro

Wed, Dec 16, 2009 : 12:16 p.m.

again, the renewal passed this past spring, it was the INCREASE that failed. so why the drastic REDUCTION in officers... hunh?!?!? we're all making sacrifices. this just plain makes no sense. sure costs are going up, THAT MUCH?