Source: Sherman Publications

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Townships may share deputy

by Trevor Keiser

September 29, 2010

Fresh from taking over Clarkston police services, Independence Township deputies are considering helping out in Brandon Township.

"Everybody is looking at ways to cut costs," said Lt. Dale LaBair, commander of Oakland County Sheriff substation in Independence Township.

"When we started looking at this, we discussed it with a bunch of townships," said LaBair at the Sept. 21 Independence Township Board meeting. "The one that looks like it's going to probably come to fruition is with Brandon."

Independence assigns at least three officers to the midnight shift, 11 p.m.-7 a.m., and Brandon assigns two. The idea would be to take one of the Independence deputies, share that position with Brandon and split the cost.

"We would probably have one assigned that would become a district car he would run back and forth between the two calls," he said. "Best way I can describe it, we would go from three to two and a half, and they would go from two to one and a half."

LaBair estimated it would save township's $60,000 plus a year as well as trim overtime costs by a third.

"I think they're (Brandon) looking at it very positively," LaBair said. "They have pretty serious issues going on and have to make some cuts."

Brandon Township Supervisor Kathy Thurman said they are currently working out a proposal.

"I would be in favor of pursuing a consolidation attempt," she said.

Independence Township Trustee David Lohmeier said he liked the idea.

Independence Trustee Mark Petterson asked if subcontracting with Brandon would affect the contract they have with Clarkston.

"I don't think that's going to stress patrolling the city," LaBair said. "By reducing our commitment by one half of a patrol person, and that person sharing that patrol responsibility, I don't think that's going to cause us any problems."

Trustee Neil Wallace thought it was "a step in the right direction"

"I like that you've taken this step," Wallace said. "I don't like the idea of a full-subcontract with Brandon, and I like the notion that you're continuing to explore other ways to consolidate, regionalize, and cost cut."