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Posted on Mon, Aug 30, 2010 : 6:02 a.m.

Ypsilanti, Ypsilanti Township to discuss sharing police services

By Tom Perkins

The Ypsilanti City Council and Ypsilanti Township Board of Trustees will hold a joint meeting on Sept. 13 to discuss the possibility of sharing police services.

Officials from both municipalities underscored that the talks are exploratory and are meant to determine the feasibility and interest in a partnership.

“This is very preliminary, we just wanted to discuss some basic issues and possible impediments that are there. Then we’ll know more and see if the City Council and township board want to pursue it,” Ypsilanti City Manager Ed Koryzno said.


Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township are discussing working together to provide police protection.

The township contracts for deputies with the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Department and the city has its own police force. Officials said the talks will help shed light on what legal obstacles a shared service agreement may present and how it could work financially.

The meeting will be held at the Ypsilanti Township hall. The City Council and Board of Trustees each have their own separate meetings following the joint session.

Both municipalities have been forced to reduce the number of officers patrolling their streets in the last year. Ypsilanti Township cut the number of deputies it contracts for from 38 to 31 after residents defeated a millage last November.

The Board of Trustees recently approved language for new 1.5-mill levy to go in front voters in November. Township officials say without its approval, they will likely trim the deputy force down to 29.

The township has faced a sharp drop in property value and high foreclosure rates in recent years. Concurrently, the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners, which sets the per deputy cost, has nearly doubled the price of a police services unit, which is one deputy position.

The City of Ypsilanti recently eliminated 2.5 positions from its force, which will remain at the current levels for this and the following fiscal years.

Koryzno said the city and township have successfully managed partnerships in the Ypsilanti District Library and Ypsilanti Community Utilities Authority. The city and township are also working on greater cooperation between their fire departments.

Although the relationship has been cool at other times, Ypsilanti Mayor Paul Schreiber said he has maintained a good relationship with Ypsilanti Township Supervisor Brenda Stumbo.

"I would imagine that we would have a constructive relationship looking at police services," Schreiber said.

Stumbo said exploring the idea is necessary because the township’s revenue keeps going down, while the cost of service keeps going up.

“With the level of service diminishing, we’re looking at all alternatives for police services,” she said.

The city, which is also facing a loss of revenue from declining property values and state-shared revenue, is looking at the situation in much the same light.

“I think the fact that you have declining taxable values across the state and the change in the economy in the state require everybody to look at how they provide services and avoid costs increases,” Koryzno said.

Schreiber added that he would like to see a third party study the issue and said any arrangement would have to benefit both communities.

"We have a good police force as is, but we're having funding issues ... so maybe there is a way that we can build upon each others strengths," he said.

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


Steve Pepple

Thu, Sep 2, 2010 : 7:21 a.m.

A comment was removed because it contained an off-color remark about another commenter.


Thu, Sep 2, 2010 : 7 a.m.

@Gorc, I'm having trouble following your argument. On one hand, you posit that crime is lower where taxes are higher and suggest raising the lower tax rates in Ypsilanti Township to keep crime low there. Now you're saying that the City of Ypsilanti's lower property values and higher crime rate are tough on its citizens. While I agree wholeheartedly with your second statement, unfortunately (for your argument) the City of Ypsilanti has the highest tax rate in Washtenaw County. The City's high tax rate probably accounts for a significant portion of both its lower property values and higher crime rate. Replicating this in the township (by raising taxes) seems ill-advised, no?


Tue, Aug 31, 2010 : 7:22 p.m.

@YpsiLivin....I'm not sure what the taxes are like in the city of Ypsilanti compared to other cities. But it seems to me the residents are all ready paying the price for living in an area with higher crime. Their property values are lower, their insurance premiums are probably higher, the educational system is substandard, and the quality of life is not as good as it could be. These are unintended costs (kind of a hidden tax) already being assessed on the citizens.


Tue, Aug 31, 2010 : 3:35 p.m.

Nor would it be the case if the county were well managed.


Tue, Aug 31, 2010 : 3:01 p.m.

If three deputies assigned to Ypsi. Twp. are off for either medical or military then they are replaced by three that are assigned to the 'county wide' patrol. The Deputies assigned to the county wide patrol are positions that are funded by the Sheriff's Office with their budget from the county. The county wide deputies are used to fill positions in contract areas that are going to be off for an extended period of time. The overtime that is caused by this is covered by the county not the townships. So under the contract the township is still getting the number of contracted deputies but the county is suffering greater OT costs. Once again this would not be the case if they had their own department.


Tue, Aug 31, 2010 : 2:21 p.m.

Seems like this is a grudge match. Put a pencil to the paper and calculate the cost difference. I truely believe economics will show a significant cost increase. If the Township partners with the City, so be it. Maybe the displaced Deputies can work in the western townships where they are appreciated. Personally, I think Ypsi Township should go on their own. Then they have nobody else to blame for their issues.


Tue, Aug 31, 2010 : 2:01 p.m.

Less tickets, more arrests, is what most residents want! Who wants to pay police to hide out with radar guns?.Who?


Tue, Aug 31, 2010 : 1:56 p.m.

The township pays for 31, but that doesn't mean that they are on patrol in the township. Read what the Sheriff said from the Ypsi Township Board Meeting notes posted on the web. "He commented on the fourteen staff that are off on medical and long term disability. He said that its a dangerous job so they are occasionally going to get injured and the county bears the largest percentage burden of staff in the military and have more people deployed than any other office in the county. Supervisor Stumbo asked how many deputies were on military leave and if he could back fill the positions with other deputies. She also said that he could go to the County Board of Commissioners and ask them to fill those slots, especially for the military. She also asked if he could ask for more dollars for Sheriff Patrol in lieu of the fact that fourteen people are not working in those positions. Sheriff Clayton shared that there are three officers on leave and one ready to leave and that you cannot hire into a control number that is already filled, and that the deputies that are off are still getting paid. He also said that the County Board of Commissioners will not fill these positions. He explained that the countys protocols state you cannot fill an existing position or a control number that is full and occupied and said what they can do is take those monies that are being reimbursement by the military and that will help offset some of the cost for some additional overtime. He also said that it still increases the burden on the staff, so you not only have the county protocols that come into mind you have the labor agreement you cannot fill a position that is technically not empty." Please explain why is there this discussion going on between the Township Supervisor and the Sheriff if the township patrols are being fully staffed?


Tue, Aug 31, 2010 : 1:34 p.m.

Once again this is not true. The township gets the number of deputies they contract for. The positions are filled by county funded positions if they are off long term. The slower response time is because of the fewer deputies that are now there. At one time there were 44 deputies in ypsi. twp. now there are only 31. This is what the majority of residents wanted when the millage was voted down.


Tue, Aug 31, 2010 : 1:14 p.m.

Saline- The positions are currently unstaffed, but salaries still need to be paid. The result is very slow response to calls for sheriff originating from the township.


Tue, Aug 31, 2010 : 12:34 p.m.

Township resident your statement is simply not true. When a Deputy is off on medical or military leave the position is filled by one of the county funded deputies. This does not cost the township anymore money as these officers are funded by the Sheriff's Office out of their budget. However, if you had your own department you would now be paying for the overtime to cover these positions. Just another reason why it is cheaper to contract with the Sheriff's Office.


Tue, Aug 31, 2010 : 10:02 a.m.

It's just a political move to scare the Township residents into voting for increased taxes for the County Sheriff. The County is paying for a large number of sheriffs who are on medical or military leave. As usual, when the county has problems, they try to put all the burden on the townships. Vote NO on the police millage and make the Sheriff do his job. Everybody needs to reduce expenditures in this economy. The townships already have the largest number of home foreclosures.


Tue, Aug 31, 2010 : 7:22 a.m.

Gorc said:...but I would imagine crime is statistically lower in areas where the tax base is higher. Think about what you said for just a quick second. According to your reasoning, the City of Ypsilanti should enjoy the lowest crime rate in Washtenaw County. When you raise taxes too high, people leave. The absence of people decreases property values and the number of owner-occupied homes, which in turn, invites crime. To encourage occupation of an area's homes by permanent residents (those who have a stake in the community), tax policy should be low enough to make the area appealing to homeowners. In addition, the public school system has to be good enough to encourage families to locate there, or remain there once they start having children. Clearly, there's a balance between taxation and quality of life, but raising property taxes in the hope that it will encourage otherwise rational people to suddenly find the area attractive enough to take up residence there is absurd. (Don't think so hard so early in the morning.)


Tue, Aug 31, 2010 : 6:45 a.m.

The Township would have to be insane to consolidate their police services with the worst City in the State. We should recall any Trustee or Supervisor that wants to increase our taxes to pay for the City's inevitable bankruptcy. I understand why City residents have left the comments on this story, but there is no way a merger would have any benefit to the Township.


Tue, Aug 31, 2010 : 5:24 a.m.

Mr. Ed Not splitting hairs, you were incorrect in your statement. The city manager works for the taxpayers, not city council. A quick primer on local government is my recommendation to you prior to any more non-factual posts. the dog


Tue, Aug 31, 2010 : 2:59 a.m.

YpsiLiving states a very interesting fact the the township residents enjoy a much lower property tax. How about this as a radical way to fight crime.... raise the property taxes in the township. I don't know if this is true or not, but I would Imagine crime is stistically lower in areas where the tax base is higher. No matter how you shake it up fighting crime will cost the residents one way or another. Who knows maybe some of the increased taxes could be offset with lower insurance premiums if the crime rate did go down. Just an idea.


Mon, Aug 30, 2010 : 10:38 p.m.

Having your own police force is not a chealer option. Even with the increased price of $191,000. To compare take what Ypsi. City Police Budget is and divide it by the number of cops they have on the street. This would be the 'price per officer' that the city is paying now with it's own police force. Remember when Ypsi. Twp. contracts for the Deputies they get all the command officers (Sgt./Lt.), no chief/assistant chief salary, no vehicle maintance fees, no fuel charges, no office suply charges, not paying into retierments, no liability in cival cases, etc... All of these things need to be figured into the police budget if you start your own force. For those who are not happy with the service of the two departments, who do you think would be hired at the new department? It would mostly be the City offerciers and the Deputies who were layed off.

Mon, Aug 30, 2010 : 2:44 p.m.

Sounds like a great way to save money and get the economies of scale.


Mon, Aug 30, 2010 : 1:43 p.m.

At the concept level it might make sense think about what Ypsilanti Township has be willing to pay for and willing to address in terms of crime. I don't see that they have been willing to pay their fair share at the county level. Why would this township, with its contentious history with the city, want to pay up now? I would want to know how many patrols per capita they have currently and how many patrols per square mile? How much crime per square mile. Response time per call? I want to know what kind of impact this will have from a citizen and crime statistic perspective - not how much the "Executives" think the costs work out.

Mr. Ed

Mon, Aug 30, 2010 : 1:09 p.m.

Ypsidog The city Manager works for whom, the City council. So I guess we can split hairs.


Mon, Aug 30, 2010 : 12:57 p.m.

The Police Chief in the City of Ypsilanti is chosen by the City Manager, not the City Council. The council only approves the Chief's compensation. the dog

Mr. Ed

Mon, Aug 30, 2010 : 12:54 p.m.

If you go south or west in this country metro Police departments are very common. Most police departments have a command structure which is expensive, Chief, Capt, Lt, Sgt, Police officers working the streets. Why keep duplicating the top command structure. The Sheriff is really the best option. The County has a steering committee for police services. The committee is made up of the communities that contract for police services. If you go to all that information is contained in the website.

Mr. Ed

Mon, Aug 30, 2010 : 12:48 p.m.

a2 Huron This is why we have a sheriff and regional police force. The Sheriff is elected and is the only true police force of the people. The city has a Chief who's picked by the the City Council. I recall years ago with a civil process and the fire/police service in Ypsilanti Twp. The civil process was flawed and the twp was sued.


Mon, Aug 30, 2010 : 12:36 p.m.

One county-wide police operation is a BAD idea. Giving that much control and power in one entity, particularly when it comes to public safety, is never a good idea. Too much of the service needs to be tailored to regional needs, which is why regional forces, perhaps 3-4 county-wide, makes more sense.


Mon, Aug 30, 2010 : 12:06 p.m.

It seems to me that going to ONE county-wide department, cutting the overhead would be best for all parties. Ann Arbor and Washtenaw county have already combined IT department and police dispatches. Getting rid of two or four spare Chiefs would only be the most visible savings. And all the Fire Deaprtments seem to be well along the way withtheir mutual aid agreements. There is just so much wasted overhead in duplicated administration and equiptment.

Martin Church

Mon, Aug 30, 2010 : 11:37 a.m.

I like the idea of police sharing. as a resident that lives on the border between the two I am tired of watching the entertainment of the Sheriff's department and the city trying to eliminate the crime in our neighborhood. it will be a saving for both and give compition to the county. After all it is the county that has force the elimination of patrols for the township and this will allow both communities to develop common laws and resources. We have seen coperation with the fire departments lets see it with the polic and perhaps we can bring JYRO back together to manage the park and rec programs.


Mon, Aug 30, 2010 : 10:29 a.m.

Mr. Ed, I'm not sure where you get your information, but Ypsilanti township residents enjoy a MUCH LOWER tax rate than do the residents of the City of Ypsilanti. The City of Ypsilanti has the HIGHEST tax assessment in Washtenaw County. In no way would combining the City and Township lead to lower taxes for anyone. In fact, quite the opposite would happen for the residents of the township. Ypsilanti Township has three times the number of residents that the City does for a good reason: lower taxes. And not just for the actual assessed taxes, but for taxing authority as well. Cities have the power to impose income taxes; townships do not. Township residents would NEVER stay in the township if it were annexed by the City and fell under the City tax structure.


Mon, Aug 30, 2010 : 10:25 a.m.

The survey question is misleading. Ypsi Township doesn't have a police force they contract with the County. The real question is, should Ypsi Township dump the County Sheriffs and contract with Ypsilanti? Competition is good.


Mon, Aug 30, 2010 : 10:24 a.m.

Combining City and Township police services make perfect sense and that is why it will never happen. City and Township officials would view combining police services as a slippery slope (today the police, tomorrow my job.) City and Township officials are concerned about keeping their jobs and I guess I can't blame them for that.


Mon, Aug 30, 2010 : 10 a.m.

@TheAnnouncerman my point is to say Ypsi and Ypsi Twp are crime infested is too broad of a statement.Yes those few areas are infested.And no, I have no worries in the safe areas,no more than Ann Arbor.I rarely see the police any where I live.Why? cause nothing ever happens here.

Jay Allen

Mon, Aug 30, 2010 : 9:49 a.m.

TDW? What? "Yes Ypsi does have its share of crime, but the fact is most of it occurs in just a few areas.And that is a fac?" You just tried to argue: "@glimmertwin " crime infested "? where do you get your info?" Make up your mind. And the crime "only" being in a "few" parts, no that is wrong as well. It is CONCENTRATED in two or three areas but even in the "safe" places, you had better watch your back. Crime does not discriminate.


Mon, Aug 30, 2010 : 9:41 a.m.

These two communities don't need to lose a single police officer by combining. In fact, they should be able to expand as a result, even w/o the township approving its millage.


Mon, Aug 30, 2010 : 9:41 a.m.

Yes Ypsi does have its share of crime, but the fact is most of it occurs in just a few areas.And that is a fact


Mon, Aug 30, 2010 : 9:15 a.m. The stats speak for themselves. No to mention, unfortunately, I live here and deal with it every day.

Mr. Ed

Mon, Aug 30, 2010 : 9:12 a.m.

Here is the State website for crime stats.,1607,7-123-1645_3501_4621-228589--,00.html

Jay Allen

Mon, Aug 30, 2010 : 9:10 a.m.

In regards to the story and poll. If the two departments combine and ALL officers stay in tact, then I am for it. If the point is to combine and then streamline, I am against it. There needs to be MORE officers in Ypsi and in the Twp, not less.


Mon, Aug 30, 2010 : 8:56 a.m.

Ypsi the city and township are run by Democrats. Why cann't these silly little people man-up and do what's best for their voters instead of doing what's best for them!

Mr. Ed

Mon, Aug 30, 2010 : 8:56 a.m.

If you really want to save money dissolve the twp and make it the City of Ypsilanti. Less government and lower taxes.


Mon, Aug 30, 2010 : 8:41 a.m.

About time! We have discussed this issue at Neighborhood Watch Meetings for years. It would more costly for us in the township but provide more local control of the police force and cops that would have greater knowledge of the local area in which they patrol.


Mon, Aug 30, 2010 : 8:26 a.m.

@glimmertwin " crime infested "? where do you get your info? Let me explain something allows anti Ypsi posts all the time,yet make one comment about Ann Arbor crime and it gets deleted.So again where do you get your info?

Advance Ypsilanti

Mon, Aug 30, 2010 : 8:26 a.m.

There was a study by the City of Ypsilanti and six other government units (albeit not Ypsilanti Twp) looking at feasibility of creating consolidated police services through a joint authority. A copy of the report is available at


Mon, Aug 30, 2010 : 8:14 a.m.

Partnering with the National Guard would be a better option for these two crime-infested communities. Again, this has been being "talked about" for years. Nothing will ever happen - after all, it hasn't happened yet. Like a previous post said, it makes too much sense.


Mon, Aug 30, 2010 : 8:07 a.m.

Thanks Mr. Ed. It may be that the city is willing to sharpen its pencil now given the economic condition of both entities.

Mr. Ed

Mon, Aug 30, 2010 : 8:03 a.m.

A2 Huron The study I refered to was done by Ypsilanti City. The cost for the city was better but it raised the cost for the twp. It really comes down to cost and service. It would be a win win for the city.


Mon, Aug 30, 2010 : 7:48 a.m.

Mr. Ed: I would have to question the validity of any such study that recommends an expanded role for the sheriff that would involve taking over city police services. There is the fundamental problem of relying on a third party that can, based on changes in future county boards and administrations, dramatically raise the costs or scope of services with little lead time. Then there is the fundamental problem of local control. A regional force structure is by far the best method, which a joint City-Township arrangement would entail. The city already has the infrastructure in place.

Mr. Ed

Mon, Aug 30, 2010 : 7:36 a.m.

In looking at both Police budgets it will drive the cost up for ypsilanti twp residents. It makes more sense for both communties to contract with the sheriff. I believe a study was completed by YPD reference the feasibility. Maybe can post the study.


Mon, Aug 30, 2010 : 7:12 a.m.

This concept makes so much sense that it seems ridiculous that it is being discussed now as opposed to several years ago. Notwithstanding proximity and location benefits, such a partnership could easily lead to stability and better public safety services for both entities. It also gives Ypsi Twp more control and authority over the forces that patrol its streets and removes an intermediary from the process. Better late than never, I guess.

Steve Pepple

Mon, Aug 30, 2010 : 6:45 a.m.

A typo was fixed in the story. Thank you to the reader who pointed it out.