Police Service Collaboration How-To Manual Thursday, June 15, 2006

Police Service Collaboration
How-To Manual
Thursday, June 15, 2006
300 e. nine mile road, ferndale, michigan 48220
Creating Collaborative Communities:
Police Service
Table of Contents
Internal Considerations
External Considerations
Continuum of Collaboration
Plan for Implementation
Legal Considerations
Attorney General Opinion
Financial Considerations
Cost Allocation
Weighing the Pros and Cons
Successful Examples
Barriers to Collaboration
a. Elements for Success
b. Public Engagement
Resource Guide
Citizens Research Council Data
Creating Collaborative Communities
Collaboration How-To Manual: Police Service
Welcome to Creating Collaborative Communities: Police Service, the second workshop in our Creating
Collaborative Communities Series, which was launched by the Michigan Suburbs Alliance in response to
the serious financial crisis cities across Michigan are facing.
The Problem
The struggling state economy, recent cuts in revenue sharing, and the drastic rise in insurance and
pension costs are severely limiting city budgets across the state. Combined with the unintended
interaction of 1994’s Proposal A and the Headlee Amendment, which limits tax revenue growth rates
below inflation, these factors have left cities with significantly less money and virtually no way to raise
additional funds. More frequently, municipal leaders are forced to choose between cutting essential
public services and facing fiscal insolvency.
The Solution
Resource sharing and municipal cooperation give struggling cities a third option. Cities may be able to
retain and even improve public services and save money by sharing costs, equipment, knowledge and
manpower with other cities. Through collaborative partnerships, cities can maximize the efficiency of
their limited resources and continue to provide quality services to their residents.
Our Response
To develop our resource sharing program, we enlisted the help of a steering committee made up of
city managers, mayors, council members, human resource and finance directors, fire and police chiefs,
union leaders and university professors who provided a wealth of examples, research and information
about resource sharing partnerships. With their guidance, we developed the Creating Collaborative
Communities Workshop Series, a sequence of half-day, interactive seminars that address service areas
identified by our committee as optimum opportunities for collaboration.
Police Service
Timely, efficient and effective police service is at the heart of what citizens expect from their city
government. The idea of cutting back on manpower, equipment or training is disturbing to citizens and
city officials alike, but with police service funding requiring a large portion of municipal budgets, it is one
of the first areas administrators consider when revenue dwindles. Because police departments have a
long (albeit somewhat informal) tradition of cooperation, and because the service is so vital to citizens, it
is an optimum area to collaborate.
The Binder
This binder is a collaboration how-to manual that contains all the information from today’s workshop as
well as additional research, examples and resources. Should you attend other workshops in the series,
additional information can easily be added to your binder.
The Michigan Suburbs Alliance is a resource for cities throughout southeast Michigan regarding many
issues including resource sharing. If we can be of assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Enjoy the workshop!
Conan Smith
Executive Director
Michigan Suburbs Alliance
Creating Collaborative Communities
Collaboration How-To Manual: Police Service
The Michigan Suburbs Alliance would like to thank to today’s speakers:
Deputy Chief James Sclater, Brownstown Police Department
Chief William Dwyer, Farmington Hills Police Department
Chief George Filenko, Round Lake Park-Hainesville Police Department
Mr. Adam Rujan, Plante Moran
Thank you for taking time to share your knowledge with us!
Also, we extend our appreciation to the members of the police steering subcommittee for their
assistance throughout the past year:
Maxine Berman – Director of Special Projects, Office of the Governor
Michael Celeski – Police Chief, City of Dearborn
Richard Heinz – Police Chief, City of Roseville
Naheed Huq – Senior Planner, SEMCOG
Michael Kitchen – Police Chief, City of Ferndale
Peter Provenzano – Assistant City Manager/Controller, City of Roseville
David Niedermeier – Police Chief, City of Hazel Park
Kevin Sagan – Police Chief, City of Madison Heights
Steve Truman – City Manager, City of Roseville
Thank you for taking time out of your busy days to impart your wisdom and help guide our
research. We could not have done this without you!
The Michigan Suburbs Alliance would also like to thank the sponsors of the Creating Collaborative
Communities program:
Michigan Economic Development Corporation
Michigan State Housing Development Authority
Charles Stewart Mott Foundation
Thank you for you visionary support or this program and of cities in Southeast Michigan.
Finally, thank you to the charter members of the Michigan Suburbs Alliance:
Allen Park
Center Line
Dearborn Heights
Grosse Pointe Park
Grosse Pointe Woods
Harper Woods
Hazel Park
Huntington Woods
Lincoln Park
Mount Clemens
Pleasant Ridge
River Rouge
Thank you for your continued support of the Michigan Suburbs Alliance. We look forward to
assisting you in your collaborative endeavors!
Creating Collaborative Communities
Collaboration How-To Manual: Police Service
Internal Considerations
There are many reasons to initiate a collaborative effort. Local officials may want to improve safety for their residents
or seek solutions to problems for city businesses. Often, a crisis such as a millage failure catapults a city toward
police service collaboration; however, the present financial health of many southeast Michigan cities qualifies as
reason enough to pursue collaboration. This section describes the steps a city should take prior to beginning a
cooperative initiative.
To ensure success, it is important to carefully complete each of the following steps, ensuring proper planning
and support before moving ahead. The entire process, from inception to execution, may take months or years.
Remember that all the effort and work done upfront will save you time, money and grief in the end!
Prior to reaching out to community stakeholders or initiating a collaborative partnership, begin discussing
collaboration internally with your community’s political, administrative and police service leadership. During any step
that requires a meeting, consider including a neutral third party facilitator. Local universities and the International
Association of Chiefs of Police can be good sources for such mediators. Also, abstain from including any potential
external partners until you have completed the internal preparations listed below.
Investigate Your Motivations
Identify . . .
The issue(s) you plan to address
Why you are considering collaboration
What you hope to achieve through collaboration; your goals and objectives
The ideal result of collaboration
Develop a Cooperative Spirit
Be . . .
Transparent throughout the process
Willing to cede power
Identify a Leader
Who is . . .
Knowledgeable about the community and issues
Politically and socially capable of bringing stakeholders to the table
A risk taker
Of a cooperative spirit (as defined above)
Eager to discuss and address stakeholders’ concerns candidly
At this point, begin incorporating community stakeholders into the effort to improve police services by soliciting
their feedback. You may choose to meet with each stakeholder group individually before bringing the entire group
together. Be sure, though, to advise participants that the purpose of these meetings is to explore all of the issues
and options, not to determine a final solution. Consider that stakeholders should be included in the planning process
not just to elicit support but also to provide valuable expertise and insight. Their involvement will also help alleviate
fears by allowing them to share their concerns and having these concerns addressed. The further along in the
process that interest groups’ concerns are addressed, the more difficult it will be to reconfigure plans and the more
unlikely the successful implementation of the collaboration.
Creating Collaborative Communities
Collaboration How-To Manual: Police Service
Engage Stakeholders & Interest Groups
Identify and contact stakeholders. Consider including. . .
Unions & Department Employees
Citizen Groups & Residents
Chambers of Commerce & Local Businesses
City Staff & Elected Officials
Gather all parties to record and discuss each stakeholder group’s respective . . .
Record each stakeholder’s opinions regarding current, acceptable and ideal service levels
and department characteristics and the best collaborative structure for achieving them.
Unions & Department Employees may focus on . . .
Response times
Crime rates
Departmental focus
Employees’ quality of life
Citizen Groups & Residents may focus on . . .
School liaison officers
DARE officers
Home checks for residents on vacation
Community policing
Bike patrols
Meet Regularly
Assemble stakeholders often to maintain focus on collective goals and to ensure all parties are invested in the
success of the police service improvement initiative.
As you begin examining ways to improve police service provision, consider cooperative endeavors. What type or
level of collaboration will best achieve the goals and objectives set forth by stakeholders?
Note that departmental employees will be very wary of proposals that affect their jobs and/or influence. However,
the Urban Cooperation Act requires that existing employees transferred to a new intergovernmental entity shall not
suffer a reduction in rights or benefits. These statutory protections may reduce, but not entirely eliminate, possible
employee opposition to intergovernmental projects.
Explore the Police Service Solutions
Anticipate and plan how to respond to concerns regarding revenue-generating
initiatives and collaboration. See the Weighing the Pros & Cons section of this
guide to review potential points of contention.
Develop a methodology to determine how options for service provision will be evaluated
Identify opportunities for generating additional revenue
o Grants
May be used to finance infrastructure to relieve the strain on city budgets
Federal Homeland Security grants may be helpful in covering costs for
equipment purchases and upgrades as well as training if these costs are
necessary to provide a more holistic or regional provision of services.
cont. >
Creating Collaborative Communities
Collaboration How-To Manual: Police Service
Although the program is due to be zeroed out nationwide under the current
administration, federal Edward Burns Grants may provide matching monies
for important equipment expenditures.
Consider external collaborations in grant writing
Applying as part of a consortium may increase your city’s chance of
receiving grant monies.
Cities with grant writers may be willing to train a staff member in your city.
Cities may share grant writers to save money while ensuring that the
grant writer has appropriate levels of experience and expertise.
Research all structures for police service provision
o Identify where your community is on the Continuum for Collaboration (see the
next chapter).
o Identify all alternative structures for police service provision.
Many are listed in the following chapter, Continuum of Collaboration
Do not decide on a certain collaboration structure for your community
before you secure your partner(s)
Identify potential partner communities.
Only one partner community is needed; you can always build from there.
Although contiguity is an important characteristic when identifying partners
to consolidate with, it is much less relevant when planning a functional
consolidation in the area of, for example, dispatch or purchasing.
Communities with residents who share similar economic standards of
living, educational levels, and racial and ethnic ties are more likely to enjoy
populace support for joint ventures, because homogeneity reassures
residents that major differences will not erupt between the communities over
such issues as services to be provided, the quality of such services and the
financial burden that each community will assume to support the service.
Contact potential partner cities to invite them to complete the internal
preparation process.
Creating Collaborative Communities
Collaboration How-To Manual: Police Service
External Considerations
Once all the communities involved complete the internal preparation stage, the team can begin working together to
build their collaborative partnership. External preparation involves many steps similar to those taken within each
individual community such as building trust among stakeholders and agreeing on desired outcomes. Although it
may seem time-consuming and tedious, completing each step is crucial for a successful collaborative partnership
because they each address important issues that can impede the process down the road.
Build Trust
Provide opportunities such as community meals and festivals for residents and city
staff to develop relationships with partner communities’ residents and city staff.
Assemble a group of dedicated individuals from each municipality to meet often and
openly, making sure to include representation from each stakeholder group.
Provide opportunities for leadership from each partner community to meet regularly
Recognize that if the image of a community’s government or police department is
by documented or suspected inefficiency, ineptness, or corruption, cooperation
may not be possible until a new administration is elected or new departmental
management is appointed
Participate in local government associations such as the Oakland County Supervisors
Association (OCATS), the Conference of Western Wayne (CWW) Mayors and Township
Supervisors and the Michigan Suburbs Alliance, which meet on a regular basis
Explore the Options
Determine shared goals.
Agree upon a methodology and criteria to evaluate alternatives.
Review service provision options that were identified internally.
o Determine the most immediately achievable option.
o Consider starting with this easiest form of collaboration in order to build
confidence among collaborating cities. Early success will encourage more
challenging collaborations and build credibility with residents and the media.
For example, consider beginning by purchasing equipment with one or
more communities. This type of initiative may be comparatively easy
because it builds on existing cooperative bidding on the internet, and at
the same time, it is not extremely politically charged.
o Work toward achieving short-term goals, but avoid losing sight of long-term
goals which may be more difficult to achieve.
If the group decides to pursue collaborative police service provision, the following steps must also be completed.
However, if cooperation is not the best choice for your city at this point, abstain from investing the necessary time
and effort in continuing to explore the option.
Align Service Provision Goals
Goals translate the vision and values into objectives; by aligning each department’s
respective goals, the departments will be able to cooperatively move in the same
Determine the Identifying Characteristics for Each Department
Consider the departments’ values, traditions, perceived identities, philosophy and
Departments have very strong identities. Officers and staff take a great deal of
comfort and pride in these identities. Consolidation activities must allow for an
understanding of this initial loss of identity and suggest timeframes for officers to
adopt and adjust to the new agency’s identity.
The new agency’s philosophy must be a blend of the philosophies of the
collaborating departments. Philosophies may focus on special programs or a
community-oriented, problem-solving approach to service provision.
cont. >
Creating Collaborative Communities
Collaboration How-To Manual: Police Service
The culture of each department (perspectives, attitudes and informal coping
mechanisms) must be assessed and respected. Expect that each department’s
personnel will maintain a core of identifying elements while relinquishing others to
effectively assume the identity and culture of the new agency.
Complete a Feasibility Study
A feasibility study provides an overview of the main issues related to a cooperative service provision option while identifying risks
that would prevent your collaboration from being successful. By answering important questions regarding all aspects of the service
sharing, the feasibility study evaluates the proposed alternative structure. However, much research is required in order to obtain
enough information to answer these questions. While one need not know all the answers in order for the effort to be feasible, every
question should be answered satisfactorily before operations begin. Additionally, although the purpose of a feasibility study is not to
document in-depth long-term financial projections, it should include a basic break-even analysis to see how much revenue would be
necessary to meet operating expenses.
If your community can successfully answer the questions listed below without the support of an objective third party, then
a formal feasibility study may be unnecessary. However, cities often find it helpful to contract with a neutral, third party to
complete a formal such a study. Given their closeness to the issues at hand, city and department leaders often fall into a cloud
of negotiations without having a clear view of whether or how the benefits outweigh the costs. Firms such as Plante & Moran
provide important objectivity and technical expertise for the completion of a full feasibility study; however, cities may choose to
tap available university and nonprofit resources for such support instead.
Creating Collaborative Communities
Is a professional feasibility study necessary to move forward?
To answer this question, it may be helpful to read the following
section, Feasibility Study
Will the new agency move in a new philosophical direction? Should it?
Will consolidation affect the rest of the criminal justice system? How?
Will consolidation respond to the growth of the city, county and region?
What is the current service capacity of your city’s police department and
the departments with which you may collaborate?
Will the quality of service provided to residents rise or fall?
What type/level of collaboration will the group pursue?
Will the new method of service provision provide benefits that outweigh the
Who will make the key decisions about the consolidation process?
How can the process be designed to ensure that stakeholders have a role
in decision-making?
How much control does your community need?
What is politically palatable in your community and the potential partner
What is the current organizational structure for service provision? How
may this structure change with greater cooperation?
What is the current and projected demand for police services?
What are the communities’ service expectations?
What is the projected supply of police services in the area?
What aspects of the departments’ union and pension contacts will result in
contention if a collaboration is pursued?
Are the current departments’ sites the most appropriate for optimal service
What, if any, facilities are available to house a collaboration?
What staffing needs will the new agency have? How will staffing needs to
change in the future?
Who will head the new agency? To whom will this agency head report?
What qualifications are needed to manage this cooperative? Who will
manage the new agency? How will the command structure be set up?
cont. >
Collaboration How-To Manual: Police Service
Creating Collaborative Communities
How will the department and its service provision be overseen? Will a
governing board be responsible for oversight? Who will sit on this board?
What are their qualifications?
How have other consolidated agencies arrived at an equitable
management plan for the new entity?
What will happen to the existing police departments?
How will the sheriff’s office interact with the new agency?
How will complaints be managed?
How will officers be deployed?
How will patrol sectors or districts be designed? How will patrol allocation
be determined? How will preliminary deployment decisions be evaluated
after implementation?
How will the issue of multiple departments having units that target drugs,
homicide, gangs, etc. be resolved?
How will training and education be standardized?
What are the technology needs for the collaborative?
What equipment is necessary?
Where will you obtain this technology and equipment? How does your
ability to obtain this technology and equipment affect your start-up
timeline? How much will the equipment and technology cost?
Will consolidation cause taxpayer costs to increase or decrease?
Are there hidden costs that could make consolidation more expensive than
How will start up, capital and operating costs be distributed among
partners? Who will decide?
Will long-term benefits outweigh initial transaction costs?
Are there enough economies of scale to outweigh the fact that
collaboration may result in winners and losers?
How will the collaboration be financed?
Consider both the costs to create the collaboration as well as those
associated with the cooperative service provision.
By collaborating, are additional funding sources available?
How will revenue acquisition change? Who will receive these revenues?
Will levels of revenue change? How?
How will assets be transferred?
Who will use which assets?
How will the partnering communities address financial disparities?
Will the seniority and job assignments of officers and civilian employees be
Will promotional opportunities increase or decrease?
How will salary, benefits and promotion protocols be standardized?
What does legislation permit?
What contractual issues may arise?
What other legal issues could arise?
What must be done to satisfy all legal requirements?
Who will be responsible for evaluating and resolving legal issues of agency
dissolution or redesign?
How will the collaboration be evaluated and modified? How often will
reviews take place and changes occur?
Collaboration How-To Manual: Police Service
Continuum of Collaboration
The Continuum of Collaboration is the range of options for cooperative efforts. On one end of the scale are less
complex projects that do not typically encounter significant challenges. These projects do not pose threats to turf
or control; they do not demand long-standing trust; they fit within existing budgets. On the opposite end are intense
and multifaceted collaborations that may involve departmental mergers. These collaborations demand high levels of
trust and are often precipitated by emergency situations. Most of all, they demand strong and visionary leadership.
In between is a wide range of alternatives, neither very simple nor overly complicated.
Moving along the Continuum of Collaboration is easiest if taken one step at a time. Use less complex forms of
collaboration to establish the trust, respect and confidence necessary to move to more intense projects.
Mutual Aid
Equipment and
personnel staging
Mutual Aid
There are many options for providing police service cooperatively, all of which differ in complexity and intensity. This
section describes each option to assist cities as they navigate through the Continuum of Collaboration. At the end
of the chapter is a short discussion on public safety as an option for collaboration within your own city, which can
achieve many of the same goals as an external collaboration.
When beginning to explore cooperative initiatives, it is important to research each option carefully in order to ensure
that the type of collaboration you choose to pursue is the best option for all communities involved.
Creating Collaborative Communities
Collaboration How To Manual: Police Service
External Collaborations
Equipment and Personnel Staging
In the event that the resources in one jurisdiction are unavailable, perhaps due to
a funeral of a former member of the department, neighboring departments move
officers to locations that allow for coverage of the jurisdictional area unattended by
its own department.
Mutual Aid
Partner departments assist one another without charge on a temporary basis when
a department requests help.
Usually not formally documented
Often a product of historical convenience
o Expedient
o Politically palatable
o No obligations
o Because payment is not exchanged for these services and because one
community may use its mutual aid agreement more than its partner, this type of
collaboration may result in inequities in cost allocation.
Automatic Mutual Aid
Aid rendered automatically by the dispatcher, without a specific request from the
department needing assistance
Usually more formal than mutual aid
May require the exchange of payment for services
o Expedient
o Politically palatable
o Reassures police officers and residents that there will be enough manpower to
address more challenging incidents
o Obligatory
Functional Consolidation
Each department operates independently and remains legally separate, but some
functions work as a coordinated unit. Functions may include . . .
o Hiring
Cities may benefit from building partnerships with community colleges to
recruit officers.
o Training
Consider creating a uniform list for hiring recommendations and uniform
testing/training, either countywide or region-wide.
o Joint Purchasing
Consider purchasing equipment of the same brand, either countywide or
region-wide, in order to facilitate compatibility and exchange.
o Central Dispatch
Consider consolidating dispatch operations in one central location.
Guarantees dedicated, trained dispatch
May improve a coordinated regional response to emergencies
Fee-for-Service Contract
One municipality “sells” service to another at an agreed upon rate and for a defined
period of time
o Familiar
o Purchaser can avoid start-up costs of providing services.
o Provider can defray existing expenses.
o Easily modifiable
cont. >
Creating Collaborative Communities
Collaboration How-To Manual: Police Service
o Purchaser can feel lack of control over services received.
o May be difficult to agree on appropriate charges for services
o Provider risks exit of purchaser after increasing capacity.
Each city’s department may be legally separate and provide revenue from different
sources, but they operate as one department.
Full Consolidation
Multiple departments merge into one entity
Municipalities agree to shared ownership and control of the program
o Control primarily stays with governing bodies
o Ownership of assets/liabilities remains with governing bodies
Internal Collaborations
Public Safety
Combines fire and police services to provide both from one department
Requires cross-training of staff
Works well when a city has strong mutual aid pacts with others
A city’s police call and fire run volumes play a large role in determining whether or
not merging into a public safety department makes sense for a community. Usually
low call and run volumes are more conducive to the public safety structure.
The transition can be slow and smooth, eliminating positions only through attrition.
**For additional advantages and disadvantage of collaboration, see the “Weighing the Pros & Cons” chapter.
The lists of potential advantages and disadvantages are especially relevant for the consolidation and full
consolidation options.
Creating Collaborative Communities
Collaboration How To Manual: Police Service
Plan for Implementation
Congratulations, you have finally made it out of the preplanning phase! Having completed the internal and external
preparation and evaluated where on the continuum your collaboration falls, it is now time to develop a detailed plan
to help you implement the collaboration. Below are a number of issues and steps to consider including in the plan.
Inventory & Assess Facilities
Evaluate the age, condition, location and operational efficiency of the existing
department facilities to assess the feasibility of using those that are available versus
building new. Include renovations that would be necessary to use existing facilities.
Develop a Phased Transition Plan
Include a plan for a period of adjustment necessary to calm staff anxiety and clarify
job status.
The process of consolidation and adjustment to the process takes many
years. Creating a new agency presents officers with the challenge of shedding
old identities and taking on new ones. Some officers may never fully accept
consolidation, and all stakeholders will need substantial time to adjust to it. Early
resistance tends to give way to acceptance with time and experience.
Craft Agency Policies, Procedures and Protocols
Incorporate the new agency’s philosophy into its policies, procedures and protocols.
These must be in place and personnel should be trained on them before
consolidation occurs.
Design an Oversight Board
Establish a strong and fairly autonomous administrative board to oversee the police
service collaboration
o May be required under some authorizing statues but, in other cases, one
should be appointed
o May use PA 7 of 1967 for enabling legislation
o Some groups form more than one board:
Oversight board made up of elected officials from each participating entity
Technical board, with one representative from each service provision entity
to oversee the day-to-day running of the program. This group is usually
the body responsible for responding to public questions and concerns.
Although some laws authorizing collaboration prescribe the precise board composition,
most are broad enough to tailor membership to meet local concerns and needs.
Representatives are often appointed by the governing bodies of each community
and, to provide additional accountability, may be selected from among the elected
officials that comprise the partnering communities’ governing bodies; the premise
being that elected officials will be more likely to act in ways that please the citizens
of the respective jurisdictions.
Boards that contain equal representation from participating entities perform better
than boards that have unequal representation. The tendency exists in negotiating
agreements that if one unit pays proportionally more of the costs, it receives
additional representation or votes. Agreements structured in such a way tend to
be short lived since the unit with fewer votes perceives that they are steam-rolled in
the voting process. Moreover, providing for multiple representatives from the same
entity does little to apportion power more equitably, because representatives from
the same entity tend to vote on issues identically rather than dilute their power by
canceling out each other’s vote.
A large board raises the cost of making decisions, as more participants are likely to
bring additional ideas and more diverse viewpoints which must be accommodated
and may necessitate further delegation of decision making to subcommittees.
Employees may want to have representation on the board, but laws such as
Michigan’s Incompatibility of Public Offices statute (MCLA 15.181, et seq) may
prohibit a person from serving simultaneously in two positions where one position is
subordinate to another. Legal counsel should be consulted if this issue arises.
Creating Collaborative Communities
Collaboration How To Manual: Police Service
Creating Collaborative Communities
Opponents of intergovernmental cooperation may be willing to drop their opposition
if they are promised a meaningful role in overseeing the activities. Supporters as
well may demand a seat on the administrative board as payment for their efforts
to marshal public support for the venture. Whether or not to accommodate such
demands is a political issue best resolved at the negotiating table.
Staggering board members’ terms ensures continuity and stability.
Governing bodies may be uncomfortable delegating complete control to the
oversight board and, consequently, may reserve the power to take certain actions.
For example, the legislative bodies may reserve the right to adopt the budget for
the collaborative, particularly when they are obligated to provide ongoing operating
funds. Governing body approval may also be necessary for changes in policies,
procedures or user fees or for chief administrative officer appointments. Some
interlocal agreements require all governing bodies to ratify such proposals, while
others only require two-thirds or a simple majority of the participating government
entities’ approval. Stringent voting requirements may result in one or a few
participants impeding progress.
While each jurisdiction will need to abstain from making unilateral decisions
regarding the shared service provision, the participating community will now
influence a much larger and more powerful consortium
Some oversight board decisions may not have to be submitted to governing bodies
for ratification, but might be subject to their review and comment. An objecting
entity may have authority to postpone implementation of a decision until its
concerns are addressed. In other cases, a two-thirds or simple majority disapproval
by the government entities will veto an administrative board decision.
Legislative bodies must . . .
o Share control and ensure accountability by selecting representatives to serve
on the board.
o Empower their representatives to act on their behalf
o Ensure that the board is empowered to act independently of entrenched
interest groups
o Develop a process by which board members are selected that assures broad
Oversight board responsibilities
o Provides a mechanism for sharing decision making and expressing concerns
and preferences.
o Ensures that the legislative bodies do not constantly countermand
recommendations developed by the those appointed to make important
o Reports frequently and regularly to respective participating legislative bodies to
ensure constant communication and to alert the legislative bodies of potential
o Provides copies of minutes, document drafts and reports to legislative bodies
o Provides a forum for problem resolution other than existing councils or board
o Holds regular, public meetings
Collaboration How-To Manual: Police Service
Michigan law contains many provisions promoting local government collaboration and there is very likely a tool that
will enable you to make any service provision structure work. One challenge is that these laws are not codified as
tools for collaboration, but scattered throughout many chapters of Michigan law. Below you will find a compilation
of some of the most common provisions. You can read the full text of any of these laws online at the State of
Michigan’s legislative web site: www.legislature.michigan.gov.
Constitutional Provisions
Article 3 § 5: Provides that any governmental authority or any combination thereof may enter into agreements for the
performance, financing or execution of their respective functions, with any one or more of the other states, the United
States, the Dominion of Canada or any political subdivision thereof unless otherwise provided in the Constitution.
Article 7 § 27: Gives the Legislature the power to directly create metropolitan authorities with powers, duties and
jurisdictions that Legislature shall provide. The authorities may be authorized to perform multipurpose functions
rather than a single function.
Article 7 § 28: Authorizes two or more counties, townships, cities, villages or districts, or any combination thereof,
to cooperate in the execution administration of any of the functions or powers “which each would have the power to
perform separately.”
Legislative Provisions
PA 33 of 1951: POLICE AND FIRE PROTECTION (41.801 - 41.813) Allows for cooperation between townships or
between townships, villages and cities under 15,000 for the purchase of equipment and the provision of police and
fire services; authorizes the creation of special assessment districts, the creation of administrative boards and the
charging and collection of fees for such services.
Authorizes counties, townships, cities, villages and other governmental units to enter into contracts for the
“ownership, operation or performance, jointly or by any one or more on behalf of all, of any property, facility
or service which each would have the power to own, operate or perform separately.” Also authorizes such
governmental units to form group self-insurance pools to provide casualty insurance; property insurance; automobile
insurance including motor vehicle liability, surety and fidelity insurance; umbrella and excess insurance and coverage
for hospital, medical, surgical or dental benefits to the employees of member municipalities.
PA 200 of 1957: INTERMUNICIPALITY COMMITTEES (123.631 - 123.637) Permits two or more municipalities to form
a committee for “studying area governmental problems of mutual interest and concern.”
PA 217 of 1957: INTERCOUNTY COMMITTEES (123.641 - 123.645) Permits two or more counties to form a
committee for “studying area governmental problems of mutual interest and concern.”
2 or more contiguous counties to levy up to 1 mill (more in subsequent years) for estimated capital and operating
costs. Costs shall be distributed among participating counties based on SEV and 50% of costs shall be allocated
on the basis of school census. The tax must be approved by a majority of electors in the jurisdiction; must be held in
state general election or in countywide primary election.
PA 7 of 1967: URBAN COOPERATION ACT (124.501 – 257.301) Allows a public agency to work jointly, with any
other public agency of this state, with a public agency of any other state of the United States, with a public agency
of Canada or with any public agency of the United States government, any power, privilege or authority that the
agencies share in common and that each might exercise separately.
Creating Collaborative Communities
Collaboration How To Manual: Fire Service
Authorizes two or more political subdivisions to enter into a contract providing for the transfer of functions or
responsibilities to one another or any combination thereof. Specifies items for inclusion in function transfer
agreements and the manner of adoption; also allows the establishment of a separate administrative body to
supervise the execution of the agreement.
PA 365 of 1982: POLICE AND FIRE PROTECTION ACT (amends 41.811) Allows the governing bodies of two or more
contiguous townships, villages or qualified cities to, acting jointly, create a joint police administrative board, fire
administrative board or police and fire administrative board.
PA 57 of 1988: EMERGENCY SERVICES TO MUNICIPALITIES (124.601 - 124.614) Allows cities, villages and
townships to incorporate an authority for the purpose of providing police, fire or emergency services. The jurisdiction
of the authority must include the entire geographic area of all incorporating municipalities. The authority may levy
property taxes for funds to carry out its objectives.
PA 72 of 1988: EMERGENCY SERVICES ACT (712A.11 – 712A.18E) Allows any 2 or more municipalities to transfer
funds from dedicated property tax to an authority. Municipalities can transfer up to 20 mills for a specific period of
time, but must hold an election and obtain majority consent of the electors in the authority jurisdiction; up to two tax
elections per year.
PA 292 of 1989: METROPOLITAN COUNCILS ACT (124.651 - 124.729) Authorizes local government units to create
metropolitan councils and sets forth powers and duties of such councils; authorizes councils to levy tax.
Creating Collaborative Communities
Collaboration How-To Manual: Fire Service
Attorney General Opinion
The following excerpt was taken from Michigan State Attorney General Mike Cox’s opinion number 7177 regarding
the Police and Fire Civil Service Act stipulations for laying off and hiring full-time police officers. It notes that local
units of government can lay off full-time police officers without having to first lay off reserve officers with less
seniority, so long as no collective bargaining agreement exists providing otherwise. This allows local governments
more flexibility not only in the hiring and layoff process, but also in their budgeting.
Section 14(2) of Act 78 was amended so that the prescribed layoff procedure would no longer apply to “paid
members” but would apply to full-time paid members of police or fire departments:
If, for reasons of economy, it shall be deemed necessary by any city, village or municipality to reduce the
number of full-time paid members of any fire or police department, the municipality shall follow the following
procedure: Removals shall be accomplished by suspending in numerical order, commencing with the last
employee appointed to the fire or police department, all recent appointees to the fire or police department
until the reductions are made. However, if the fire or police department increases in numbers to the strength
existing before the reductions were made, the firefighters or police officers suspended last under this act
shall be reinstated before any new appointments to the fire or police department are made. [MCL 38.514(2)]
A municipality to which the Police and Fire Civil Service Act . . . applies is required to follow that act when hiring
full-time paid members of its police department only and not for reserve officers.
Creating Collaborative Communities
Collaboration How To Manual: Fire Service
Although initiating collaborative efforts can be expensive, it is important to allocate at least a small amount of
resources to the project in order to indicate your commitment to the initiative. Once you have generated these
startup funds, foundation grants may be available to supplement your resources. Also, when pursuing a functional
consolidation for joint purchasing, consider asking a vendor to finance the collaborative effort in return for the
increased business.
Once you have secured funds to pursue a collaborative partnership, you must investigate the various ways in which
police service collaborations can be financed. Below you will find a list of possibilities.
General Fund Revenues
The city’s primary operating fund accounts for all financial resources of the general
government except those required to be accounted for in another fund (e.g. major streets
fund, sanitation fund)
Used to finance services that are made available to all community residents
With stressed budgets, many local governments are seeking alternatives to funding
collaborative police service efforts with general funds.
Advantages to General Fund Revenues
o Generally the primary funding source for independent municipal police
o Familiar and easy to use
o Does not require a citizen vote
Disadvantage to General Fund Revenues
o These funds are dependent on external factors, including state government
decisions and the economy.
Special Extra Voted Millage
A millage that the citizens of the municipality have to approve through a ballot measure
Commonly used to support local services and expand service delivery
Revenue use is restricted for a specific activity.
Advantage to Special Extra Voted Millage
o Revenue stream is dedicated to support the specific service.
Disadvantages to Special Extra Voted Millage
o Inequities may develop since the value of property and the demand or use of
police service is not equated.
o Reliant on citizen approval
Special Assessment
Cities with populations of less than 15,000 are authorized to create special assessment
districts for police services. Special assessment districts, which include all lands and
premises benefiting from the improvement, may be formed when the beneficiaries of a
service are clearly identifiable, the premise being that the general revenue of a governmental
unit should not be used to finance improvements that do not benefit the entire community.
All local units of government in Michigan are authorized to levy special
assessments. The Home Rule Cities Act provides authority to impose special
assessments with no specific stipulations regarding the assessment levy.
Special assessment levies are not property taxes; however, property value, front
footage or land area may be used as the base for which the levy is assessed.
The measure to be used to apportion assessments is not specified in authorizing
legislation; however, the measure selected is to bear some relationship to the
benefit received from the public improvement.
cont. >
Creating Collaborative Communities
Collaboration How-To Manual: Police Service
The special assessment is generally calculated by dividing the cost of the public
improvement by the base upon which those costs will be apportioned, resulting in a
rate expressed in mills.
An administrative board provides oversight, yet each local unit maintains legislative
control. PA 365 of 1982 dictates the size of the board, appointment procedures and
terms of appointment.
Special assessments are spread and become due and collected at the same time
as other municipal taxes.
Advantages to creating special assessment districts
o Millages can be levied to generate revenue.
o Property normally exempt from the general ad valorem property tax such as
property used for religious, charitable, educational or scientific purposes and
public service business property is not exempt.
o Legislation authorizing special assessments does not usually specify a
maximum rate or a restriction on the duration of the levies. Local units of
government are, therefore, granted unlimited, open-ended revenue raising
authority to finance most public improvements.
Disadvantages to creating special assessment districts
o May only be used by cities of 15,000 or less
o Personal property is exempt
o In some instances, voter approval is required or the question may be put to the
voters through petition referendum. Initiative or referendum petitions may be
signed only by property owners in the district.
A body corporate that comprises two or more cities, villages or townships and includes the
entire land area of all participating municipalities. This entity has all the rights of a municipality.
Steps to create a police authority: City council must...
1. Pass a resolution of intent
2. Appoint a study committee
3. Vote on the articles of incorporation (charter)
The authority’s governing board should have an odd number of members, each with
staggered terms.
Advantages to an Authority
o Does not require a citizen vote to create an authority
o Requires clear and concise operating procedures
o Such institutionalization can provide validity
o Functions to remove daily politics from the program and dissolve feelings of
threatened turf
o Provides the power to finance the authority through the levy of property taxes
o Provides the power to bond to finance capital projects
May be most useful in cases where large capital investments are required
to develop the necessary infrastructure for the delivery of services
Disadvantages to an Authority
o Voter approval is required to levy property taxes
o Legislative bodies may perceive the authority as diminishing their legislative
Capital Bonding
A form of debt used to raise funds in public capital markets and through private placements
to institutional investors in which a three-way legal arrangement exists between the borrower,
the bondholders (the suppliers of capital) and a trust company.
The trust company represents the bondholders to ensure that the borrower
complies with the terms of the contract.
Since these bonds are not subject to federal income taxes, they supply low-interest
cont. >
Creating Collaborative Communities
Collaboration How-To Manual: Police Service
Advantages to Capital Bonding
o Raises a significant amount of revenue
o Does not require a large upfront payment
o A form of low-interest debt
Disadvantages to Capital Bonding
o Sometimes requires a citizen vote
o Depends on the bond ratings of the city
User Fees
A supplemental revenue stream that charges the direct recipient for services rendered
Only about 70-75% of fees are collected. Results are contingent upon how detailed
the records are and how quickly the individual is billed.
Advantages to User Fees
o May eliminate the problem of benefits not accruing to those paying for the
o Helps to regulate demand for the service
o May be used in addition to another financing method such as general fund
revenues or extra-voted millages
Disadvantages to User Fees
o Likely to accrue to the general fund and then are parsed out to departments
such as the police department
o Increases administrative costs due to collection, monitoring and accounting
o Uncertainty of revenue
o The lower an individual’s income, the greater the percentage of one’s income
required to pay the user fee
o May dissuade people from using necessary police services
o City councils tend to resist such fees
Third party payments
A supplemental revenue stream that functions as a user fee, but charges a third party (e.g. an
insurance company) rather than the recipient of the service
Collection rates on third party payments average about 50-60%.
If a unit determines residents or other users are going to be billed for police services
for which they are not currently being billed, an informational campaign is needed
to inform citizens of the new strategy. Residents may have to check with their
insurance carriers to see if such coverage is provided or if a rider can be purchased.
Advantages to Third Party Payments
o Does not charge citizens for a service they believe to be covered by taxes
o May be used in addition to another financing method such as general fund
revenues or extra-voted millages
Disadvantages to Third Party Payments
o Increased administrative costs due to collection, monitoring and accounting
o Uncertainty of revenue
o Money collected is strictly supplemental, it cannot fund a project alone
Creating Collaborative Communities
Collaboration How-To Manual: Police Service
Cost Allocation
Each department begins the cost allocation process by determining its total expenses, including both fixed
and variable costs. Fixed costs include those expenditures associated with the purchase of buildings and
communications equipment as well as payments for utilities and accounting services. Variable costs are items such
as wages and benefits, vehicles, supplies and equipment, operating costs and depreciation of equipment, insurance,
gasoline and repairs to equipment. Communities are often suspicious that partner municipalities may pay for nonpolice service costs with money allocated for the collaborative and thus may not accept that fixed capital costs
need to be included when determining total costs. However, the true cost of police service provision can only be
determined by including such capital costs. Wary communities can be reassured by better understanding the cost
determination process.
Another point of contention may be allocating start-up versus operating costs. Start-up costs, sometimes also
called transaction costs, are the costs incurred in pursuing and implementing a collaborative effort. These include
expenditures regarding research, land acquisition, building renovations, equipment purchasing, etc. Operating
costs are the ongoing costs for service provision, such as rent, utilities, and wages, which are incurred in the
everyday operation of the departments. Because communities are familiar with operating costs, they may feel more
comfortable allocating these costs among partners in the collaboration. However, start-up costs associated with
cooperative initiatives may seem more foreign. This discomfort can be addressed by both minimizing start-up costs
and seeking outside support and funding for necessary research and purchases to implement a collaboration.
The allocation of costs becomes even more complicated when factors such as population, tax base wealth, fiscal
capacity and service demand vary between participating units. Units that are similar in size and demographic
composition will face fewer problems regarding equity than communities with less in common.
Whether a community is actually buying ownership of capital purchases such as police cars is dependent upon
the language in the intergovernmental agreement. Clarify whether communities are buying the service rendered by
the capital purchases or purchasing a portion of ownership of the equipment. For example, if a producer of police
service is including depreciation costs in the charge to the buyer, then the buying community is not buying ownership
of the equipment.
Allocating costs among partners in a collaboration is generally the source of disagreement. Transparent cost
determination and allocation processes go a long way in satsifying concerned partners. However, changing the allocation
strategies once the collaborative has begun may result in even more tension than the initial allocation. Thus, when
beginning a cooperative effort, also plan how the cost allocation will be updated so that all partners know what to expect.
Types of Allocation Methods
Annual Subscription Fee
The buyer makes a predetermined payment to the seller and receives police services for the
entire year with no specified number of calls or consumption levels.
Reduces budget uncertainty because the seller is assured of a given revenue
contribution and the buyer has set costs
May saddle the buyer or seller with costs not accounted for by the pricing scheme
Run Charge
Divide the total cost of police services by the total number of runs for the previous year to
establish a cost per run to be charged for future runs. The method can be strengthened by
adding a “stand-by” service charge, similar to a “readiness to serve” charge assessed by
sewer/water producers, which may be deposited in a capital equipment or replacement fund.
cont. >
Creating Collaborative Communities
Collaboration How-To Manual: Police Service
Simple to implement and collect
Treats every police run as being equal in terms of cost
o If few police runs are encountered in any given year, the producer of the service
bears a larger share of the costs.
o A buyer may find that costs are high due to a large number of runs for small tasks
o The seller may bear fixed costs
Subscription Fee + Run Charge
The subscription fee is the access fee for the right of the buyer to purchase service from
the seller; it offsets capital costs. The police run charge covers variable costs. Using the
subscription fee and the run charge together reduces the run charge while ensuring that the
seller receives a base amount of revenue.
Less budget uncertainty than using a run charge alone
Provides flexibility for high-run vs. low-run years
Maintains some budget uncertainty
Assumes that all police runs consume the same amount of resources
Percentage Share Based on Usage
Calculate the total number of police personnel hours for one community as a percent of all
the communities’ police personnel hours from the previous year and for the past three to four
years to determine a rolling average.
May more accurately reflect the cost of police services
Accuracy is dependent upon the notion that personnel hours reflect costs correctly
Relies on accurate cost and personnel hours records
Does not factor in an equitable share of fixed costs
State Equalized Value Share
This method is especially popular in communities that levy a special millage for police
services. The charge is the equivalent millage levy on the SEV of the area of the community.
Reduces budget uncertainty
Seller may pay a portion of the police costs for the buyer or vice-versa.
Assumes that the demand for service is a function of the value of the property
Weighted Formula
This method is based on population, state equalized value and historical usage. It includes
population for the added risk of exposure and the demand for police services. As population
increases, incidences requiring police services generally increase. SEV represents the value
of property to be protected; the more valuable the property, the more willing the owner
should be to pay for police services to ensure the safety of the property. If property record
cards are computerized, an actual determination of the SEV of building structures can be
determined and an agreed upon percentage of open space value added to determine the
cont. >
Creating Collaborative Communities
Collaboration How-To Manual: Police Service
SEV of the area to be serviced. A percentage of the open space SEV should be included to
reflect the potential occurrence of incidences in such locations which require police services.
Use a three-year rolling average to determine historical usage. The weights assigned to each
indicator should be negotiated among partners.
Cost Allocation Steps:
1. Identify appropriate weights for each indicator.
2. Determine the values of each indicator for one community.
3. Multiply each indicator’s value by its respective weight to determine that indicator’s
portion of the community’s cost share.
4. Add all indicator values together.
5. This final value is the community’s percentage share of the cost.
6. Repeat this process for each community.
More accurately reflects the benefits and costs of providing police services
Minimizes cross-subsidization
Adjusts annually
Reduces uncertainty
Requires heavy negotiation due to the complexity of the formula
May be the most difficult to implement
Creating Collaborative Communities
Collaboration How-To Manual: Police Service
Weighing the Pros and Cons
Although not every possibility listed below will apply to all collaborations, it is important to be aware of all of the
potential advantages and disadvantages. When determining whether or not to enter into a cooperative police service
agreement, consider the following:
Potential Advantages
Cost savings should not be expected early in a collaborative partnership. Instead, monetary
savings should be seen as a long-term benefit to collaboration. Upfront costs for studies
and transaction costs often overshadow any initial cost savings. However, countless nonmonetary benefits are more immediate . . .
Increases manpower to improve safety for citizens and police officers
Increases departmental capacity
Improves employee performance and increases employee morale by aligning the
staffing model with demands for service, modifying the organizational structure and
clarifying roles and responsibilities
Coordinates training and communication across a larger area to provide a more
unified effort during incidents
More efficiently uses personnel and their talents
Better utilizes staff’s talents through staff specialization
Facilitates more appropriate use of mutual aid agreements
Provides greater staff flexibility to meet hours of peak demand
Decreases response times
Provides better results during the incipient stage of an incident
Enhances career and training opportunities to staff
Facilitates compliance with MIOSHA requirements
Facilitates collaborative and centralized dispatch
Improves quantity and quality of services including those of special operation teams
and inspectors
Reduces duplication of services
Allows departments to utilize resources that otherwise may not be available
Improves management and supervision
Spreads financing responsibility and risk
Reduces equipment replacement costs through volume purchasing and, initially, an
abundance of apparatus
Decreases expensive overtime costs
Reduces taxes by financing services with a larger tax base
Eliminates duplication of and reduces costs–including those for capital
improvements, administration, hiring and equipment–to each community through
economies of scale
Reduces insurance costs by sharing expensive, insured equipment
Preserves a city’s tax base by providing for the safety of residents and businesses,
many of whom would leave otherwise
Community Relations
Facilitates the exchange of expertise and creativity
Creates a strong front for responding to external challenges
May increase an agency’s status
Can enhance the control, influence and visibility of all participating communities
Meets the expectation of citizens that governments should work together
Improves relations with neighboring communities
Shows taxpayers that you are using their tax dollars wisely
Fosters appreciation of work being done by the communities to improve police service
Improves equity of access to services
cont. >
Creating Collaborative Communities
Collaboration How-To Manual: Police Service
Expands the sense of community
Reduces problems of jurisdictional boundaries
Fosters an environment for future joint ventures
Attracts businesses and furthers economic development
Eventually increases the demand for police officers with an increase in population
Potential Disadvantages
Creating Collaborative Communities
Loss of legislative authority
Tiered labor contracts
Loss of promotional opportunities in incidences where officers in line for promotion
or advanced assignment in one agency find that they are outranked for these
opportunities by their peers in a partnering agency
Loss of jobs
Transaction costs, including expenses related to reorganization, planning,
standardizing equipment and the possible need for a new building to house
combined agencies
May ruin an attempt to make a department more diverse
Confusion about how and where complaints are sent
Tension among officers of different departments
Difficulty adapting to a new configuration, shift changes, revision of patrol areas
and/or adjustments to rank structure
Political backlash
Risks related to a joint agency extending service to other jurisdictions which may
require a substantial investment in equipment and new personnel
Unbalanced power: If a community’s withdrawal from the intergovernmental
program would cause hardship to the consortium, that community will enjoy
negotiating power to force concessions which might be detrimental to the other
Difficulty in getting out of the consolidation once in it given that a community may
have to make a substantial reinvestment in land, buildings and equipment to restore
its own program or service
Collaboration How-To Manual: Police Service
Successful Examples
Round Lake Park-Hainesville Police Department (Illinois)
Lead Organization: Village of Round Lake Park
Main Partners: Village of Round Lake Park, Village of Hainesville
Year Project Started: 1999
Type of Collaboration: Functional Consolidation
Project Summary:
The Round Lake Park-Hainesville Police Department has enhanced law enforcement services for both municipalities by
consolidating equipment, personnel and budgetary contributions. The mayors and chiefs of these two separate governmental
entities recognized the advantages of shared resources through intra-governmental agreements, which immediately impacted
both villages by providing full-time policing for one and enhancing staffing, equipment and finance for the other. These combined
resources have impacted crime statistics with showing a steady decline in criminal activity.
Additionally the Round Lake Park-Hainesville Police Department has formed partnerships with a combined 911 communications
center. The Lake County Major Crime Task Force that provides investigative and forensic assistance from over 35 agencies. The
Northern Illinois Police Alarm System that provides manpower and tactical support throughout northern Illinois. Municipal Crash
Assistance Team that provides support for major accident investigation. The Metropolitan Enforcement Group provides narcotics
and gang enforcement throughout Lake County. Each of these consolidated agencies is supported by the agency with manpower
and financial contributions.
George Filenko, Chief of Police
Round Lake Park-Hainesville Police Department
[email protected]
Shared Information Network Consortium
Lead Organization: Brownstown Police Department
Main Partners: Trenton PD, Riverview PD, Flat Rock PD, Grosse Ile PD, Rockwood PD, Gibraltar PD
Year Project Started: 1999
Type of Collaboration: Functional Consolidation
Project Summary:
The project has enhanced law enforcement by providing a medium for various agencies to share data to assist in the
apprehension and prosecution of criminals. The project also enables members to share resources by pooling funds, enabling
them to purchase equipment and technology they normally would not be able to utilize.
Jim Sclater
SINC Board Chairman
Brownstown Police Department
23125 King Road
Brownstown, Michigan 48183
(734) 362-0702
Creating Collaborative Communities
Collaboration How-To Manual: Police Service
South Oakland Narcotics Intelligence Consortium (SONIC)
Main Partners: Farmington Hills, West Bloomfield Township and Novi Police Departments and the Oakland County Sheriff’s
Type of Collaboration: Functional Consolidation
Project Summary:
SONIC is a major crime, surveillance and undercover consortium operated and managed by the Farmington Hills Police
Department. The chiefs of these local law enforcement offices recognized that federal, state and county resources could not
devote full-time resources to the crime problems affecting Farmington Hills, West Bloomfield and Novi. The solution the chiefs
increasing effectiveness through coordinated enforcement efforts, SONIC
reduces costs by sharing expense money and property seizures. During the first five months of 2001, SONIC successfully
targeted five major drug dealers residing in the three communities.
Chief Dwyer
Farmington Hills Police Department
(248) 871-2702
Law Enforcement Fiber Project/Paperless Reports 2001
Lead Organization: Monroe County
Main Partners: Monroe County Intermediate School District (MCISD) and the townships of Monroe, Bedford, Erie, LaSalle,
Raisinville, and Ida
Type of Collaboration: Functional Consolidation
Project Summary:
The team facilitated the extension of Monroe County’s local area network (LAN) to station law enforcement personnel closer to
the communities in which they served, rather than in the central Sheriff’s Office. As a result of the project, the Bedford District
Substation was fully integrated into the Monroe County network and is now able to perform as a self-sustaining law enforcement
source to the citizens of Bedford Township and the surrounding areas. Additionally, connectivity for the substation and the
electronic transfer of information makes law enforcement more readily available to the community and decreases time spent
As part of these collaborative efforts, the Monroe County Intermediate School District gained access to the county’s T-1
connection. This enabled the MCISD to electronically exchange, with the Michigan State Police, fingerprints and criminal history
information on potential employees. It is the first school district in Michigan to electronically submit prospective employee
information to the State Police. As a result of the project, MCISD will be able to reduce the time it takes for background checks
from three months to one month.
David Thompson
Training Officer/Grant Coordinator
Monroe County Sheriff’s Office
125 E. Second Street
Monroe, Michigan 48161
(734) 240-7404
Creating Collaborative Communities
Collaboration How-To Manual: Police Service
Joint Public Safety Dispatch Service
Lead Organization: City of Northville
Main Partners: Northville Charter Township, City of Northville
Year Project Started: 2004
Type of Collaboration: Functional Consolidation
Project Summary:
Provided improved public safety service for both Northville communities with cost savings for the city and efficiency for the
James Petres
Chief of Police
City of Northville
215 W. Main Street
Northville, Michigan 48167
(248) 449-9922
Negaunee Regional Dispatch
Lead Organization: Michigan Department of State Police (MSP)
Main Partners: Luce, Mackinac, Marquette, Baraga, Houghton, Keweenaw, Ontonagon, Schoolcraft, and Gogegic Counties
Year Project Started: 1995
Type of Collaboration: Functional Consolidation
Project Summary:
The Negaunee Regional Dispatch is a partnership formed by the MSP and partner counties to provide enhanced 911 dispatching
services from Negaunee Regional Dispatch. The collaboration has resulted in huge cost savings for partner counties along with
financial benefit for Department of State Police. Central control improves delivery of public safety by police, fire and EMS across
the Upper Peninsula. Currently, each participating county has one representative on the board. Other counties in the UP have
indicated that they may be interested in joining this successful collaborative.
Myles B. McCormack
District Commander, Captain
Michigan Department of State Police, 8th District
1504 West Washington, Suite A
Marquette, Michigan 49855
(906) 225-7030
Creating Collaborative Communities
Collaboration How-To Manual: Police Service
Saginaw County 9-1-1 Interlocal Agreement
Lead Organization: Saginaw County 9-1-1 Authority Board
Main Partners: All police and fire departments within Saginaw County
Year Project Started: 1992
Type of Collaboration: Functional Consolidation
Project Summary:
approval of a telephone surcharge, a 911 Authority Board for all Saginaw County was created. This not only saved money for
political jurisdictions. This was accomplished by the creation of a 13-member Authority Board representing the municipalities and
an actively involved 11-member Operations Committee representing the user (police, fire and medical). In 2004, the organization
handled 400,000 calls. The Operations Committee is now working toward upgrading our current radio equipment onto the State of
Michigan (MPSCS) radio system. We feel Saginaw County 9-1-1 Authority Board is a true authority that has saved municipalities
money and continues a vital service to the residents of Saginaw County.
Tom McIntyre
Executive Director
Saginaw County 9-1-1 Communications Authority
618 Cass Street
Saginaw, Michigan 48602
(989) 797-4590
Project CRISIS (Crisis Response is Strengthened in Schools)
Lead Organization: Lincoln Park Public School District
Main Partners: School districts and governments in Inkster, Westwood, Melvindale/North Allen Park, Riverview, Redford Union,
Flat Rock, Lincoln Park and Crestwood
Year Project Started: 2004
Type of Collaboration: Functional Consolidation
Project Summary:
Wayne RESA (Regional Educational Service Agency) initially responded to an outreach appeal from the Michigan State Police
to help train schools to prepare and respond appropriately to crises and homeland security issues. Lincoln Park School District
agreed to take the lead in coordinating a consortium of local districts who wanted to form a partnership to receive training and
develop school safety plans. Community responders and school leaders are working together to improve preparedness and
practice responding to emergencies. For example, with CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear or Explosives) events,
community staff, students and parents are trained in preparedness strategies. Partner agencies work together on project goals
and conduct actual drills in each building with community responder participation. This project received a Homeland Security
Grant in January 2004 and an 18-month federal grant in October 2004.
Ruth Ann Ziegler
Project CRISIS
281 Douglas Drive
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan 48308
Creating Collaborative Communities
Collaboration How-To Manual: Police Service
Rockwood-Flat Rock Motor Carrier Officer
Lead Organization: City of Rockwood Police Department
Main Partners: City of Flat Rock Police Department
Year Project Started: 2004
Type of Collaboration: Functional Consolidation
Project Summary:
This joint effort between Rockwood and Flat Rock was implemented to assist the cities with a large truck traffic problem. The
officer’s salary is split evenly between the two cities.
Stephen Tallman
Chief of Police
Flat Rock Police Department
25500 Gibraltar Road
Flat Rock, Michigan 48134
(734) 782-0636
[email protected]flatrockmi.org
Creating Collaborative Communities
Collaboration How-To Manual: Police Service
Barriers to Collaboration
This section lists a number of common obstacles to a successful cooperative initiative. Awareness of these common
issues, proper preparation, and adherence to the Elements for Success (found in a later segment) are essential to
avoiding or overcoming these issues.
Turf battles
Fear of losing control
Fear of losing negotiating power: Entities that provide a service collaboratively are
likely to desire additional partners and are thus likely to be very accommodating to
entice as many government entities as possible to sign on. Consequentially, those
communities being solicited to join the existing collaborative yield considerable
negotiating power.
Lack of leadership
City leadership that is controlled by an identifiable group that is not widely admired
in the potential partner community
Past disputes
Hidden agendas
Unclear motives
Lack of a shared vision
Lack of incentives
Unequal partners
Win-lose attitudes, competition
Disagreements within committees
Uncertainty of the sustainability of the joint agreement
Public Relations
Resistance to change
Unfamiliarity with a potential partner community
Perceptions, generalizations and stereotypes of those in potential partner communities
Fear of corruption
Fear that residents of one community will over-utilize the service or will not take
care of the resources provided by another community
Racial, cultural or financial disparities between potential partner communities
Competition for scarce well-paying jobs or economic development which highlights
racial and cultural mistrust
Public perception of disagreement between potential partner communities’
leadership regarding how service will be governed and delivered
Differing levels of service preference
Concern for the quality or quantity of service
Feeling of losing a source of pride, prestige and independence
Autonomy issues: fear of loss of identity
Residents concern that they may “lose” their police department
Fear that needs will not be met
Concern that complaints will not be addressed
Winners and losers: a change that is best for the majority adversely impact a minority
Lack of knowledge
Misunderstandings regarding the true state of one’s city and/or police department
Fear that one’s community will become dominated by the special-interest group
that dominate a potential partner community
cont. >
Creating Collaborative Communities
Collaboration How-To Manual: Police Service
Uncertainty regarding how to begin pursuing collaboration
Startup costs
Labor contracts: manpower guarantees, rank differentials, pay rates and pensions
Concern that there will be an increased workload
Fear that the department will get too big
Differing taxing authority and limitations among partner communities
Difficulty determining the costs of the service and how to allocate those costs
Difficulty financing the collaboration
Benefits are too far in the future and may not occur during the current political term
of office
Difficulty exiting the agreement once in it
Creating Collaborative Communities
Collaboration How-To Manual: Police Service
Elements for Success
Collaboration is never an easy process; however there are numerous steps you can take to help ensure success. Below is a list of
suggested principals that will help to keep your collaboration on the right track. Refer back to this list to ensure you are including all
elements as you move forward toward collaboration. Also, keep in mind that in order for any collaboration to succeed, participants must
exhibit patience, perseverance and willingness to compromise.
Complete all steps described in the section two, Preplanning
Deal directly with problems
Agree to keep talking, no matter what
Abstain from discussing or considering the consolidation of municipalities,
annexation, dissolution or any other kind of land or tax seizure, especially when
townships are involved in the process
Address the following issues before agreeing to collaborate:
o Liability
o Insurance
o Purchasing
o Hiring
o Training
o Prioritization of service provision
o Potential changes in circumstances
o Asset division
Develop a clear rationale for why a particular cost allocation method was selected
Prepare for changes due to elections in both the planning and implementation
Work to keep everything nonpartisan
Be willing to make decisions in the best interest of all partner communities rather
than simply satisfying your community’s needs and preferences
Confront race issues immediately and openly
Stabilize city leadership to develop relationships on which others can rely to
maintain long-term collaborative commitments
Written Agreements
Include the following. . .
o Legal basis for the contractual relationship
o Method of cost sharing
o Who or what will be the fiduciary
o What controls the legislative bodies will maintain, especially financial, and what
will be delegated to the oversight board
The Urban Cooperation Act provides an extensive list of powers which may
be delegated but need not be.
Some agreements provide for proper fiscal controls by specifying which
administrative board or staff members have authority to incur obligations,
approve expenditures and sign and issue checks.
o Details of the oversight board’s power to borrow money, if such a power is
o Accounting, investing, reporting and auditing procedures to be followed
Annual audits should be required of all financial records
o Management structure within the collaborative
o Membership composition and voting protocol of the oversight board
Utilizing a greater than majority approval requires accommodating most,
if not all, board members and requires that parties work out differences.
Although requiring supermajority approval protects the minority’s interests,
it may thwart the majority’s will. Partnering communities must decide
whether the benefits of achieving consensus outweigh the costs created
by a potentially less efficient decision-making process.
o Quality and quantity of service to be provided
cont. >
Creating Collaborative Communities
Collaboration How-To Manual: Police Service
Time period during which the collaboration will take place
Process for adding new partners
Method for resolving disputes
May require partners to put each other on notice when a dispute arises
which requires further discussion
Partners should meet in a timely manner, at a neutral location, to discuss
the issue and make a good faith effort to resolve the problem
Failure to resolve the issue to all parties’ satisfaction should result in the
submission of the issue to mediation
o Exit clauses and early termination procedures
o Evaluation and reporting procedures
Review the terms and conditions of the agreement on a regular basis
Public Relations
Key Messages
o Do not allow cost saving to be your primary motivation for collaboration
o Do not disguise an effort to reduce the workforce as an effort to collaborate
o Be clear that the purpose of collaboration is not to eliminate police officers
o In addition to improved services and cost savings, frame the issue in terms of
economic development and prosperity
o Use numbers and statistics to show the improvement in services and the safety
that will result from collaboration
o Craft messages to address all possible points of contention
o Clearly state the steps or procedures that will be used to minimize or eliminate
o Allow as many people as possible to take credit for the collaboration’s success
o Use successful cooperative initiatives to demonstrate that many of the fears
and concerns are unwarranted
o Once a police collaboration is successfully implemented, market the initiative
as a competitive edge in the region
o Agree not to criticize partner cities and departments in public
Community Engagement
o Hold special public meetings to describe the problem and potential solutions
o Invite citizens to attend visioning sessions to determine their hopes and goals
for the community
o Clearly communicate the vision of how collaboration will make the community
more livable and services more economical
o Provide a number of opportunities for stakeholders, especially citizens, to voice
their concerns
o Identify business groups or others who stand to benefit directly and thus may
be willing to invest resources to garner public. These groups may be willing
to host neighborhood meetings or produce brochures to help the public better
understand the benefits and government efficiencies that will result from
collaborative service provision.
o Document and clearly present the benefits of collaboration
o Incorporate citizens’ values, suggestions and concerns into decision making
o Build a supportive coalition including representatives from all stakeholder
o Follow through with initiatives in order to maintain credibility with the public and
to pave the way for additional collaborations in the future
Media Relations
o Build credibility with the press
o Select one person from the committee to be responsible for communicating
with the media
o Brief prominent officials from all participating communities before publicly
releasing any news or information, positive or negative
o Include these same individuals in press conferences where news regarding the
collaborative is announced
cont. >
Creating Collaborative Communities
Collaboration How-To Manual: Police Service
Creating Collaborative Communities
Include the local press as part of the process to keep the issue in the public eye
Have an invitational relationship with the media
Have a kick off event for both the media and general public
Pursue citizen awareness through any means available including community
Immediately address rumors through the local media
Notify the entire committee of questions being asked by the media and the
answers given
Follow through with collaborative efforts to win the attention and support of
both the media and the general public
o Integrate symbols representing partnering communities into a new logo for the
o Display the names of participating entities on the vehicles and letterhead of the
o If possible, incorporate the names of the partnering communities into that of
the collaborative
Collaboration How-To Manual: Police Service
Public Engagement
Involving the public in decision making is important to ensure the best choices are made, to gain local support for governmental decisions
and to illustrate good government practices. In order to involve the public, however, city representatives must first raise awareness of the
decision making process, communicate how and when citizens can get involved and provide information regarding the issues at hand.
The facilitation and coordination of local stakeholders in developing and updating local plans and policies then follows through organized
and mediated public comment and discussion. Integrating these comments and concerns into governmental decisions concludes the
public engagement process.
Information Dissemination
Citizen Participation Guide
o Create a handout that explains the decision making process and identifies
critical public input opportunities.
o Include a comprehensive glossary of police service and collaborative terms and
o Post the guide on the city’s website.
Public Notices
o Mail notices regarding public comment periods to citizens and local businesses
and libraries, and post them on the city’s website.
o Include information detailing where draft versions of proposed plans can be
o Provide members of the public with timely notice of meetings and complete
information regarding issues including related financial and legal information.
Speakers’ Bureau
o Train a cadre of staff to make public presentations regarding the decision
making process and current local debates. Members of the speakers bureau
should be available to make a presentation to any group upon request.
o Request time at regularly scheduled meetings to make presentations. Solicit
and record comments at these sessions.
o Provide timely information on local issues, including in-depth coverage of
upcoming challenges and collaborative pursuits.
o All people who provide input to the city should receive the newsletter.
o Post the document on the city’s website.
News Releases & Media
o Develop news releases on a weekly basis to announce important local
information and upcoming city events and decisions. Distribute these to a wide
range of local newspapers, including those that represent minority and special
interest groups.
o Post all news releases on the city’s website.
o Develop relationships with editorial boards at all local newspapers.
o Increase appearances on television and radio. Appearances on public affairs
talk shows, both on local network affiliates and cable, and public service
announcements are the most effective way to get messages to a large number
of people.
City Website
o Post important information about the city’s plans, policies and projects. All city
policy documents, technical reports and publications should also be listed here
and should be downloadable as PDFs.
o Include a web calendar identifying dates of public meetings and focus groups
held by the city and other agencies, such as the road commission and transit
o Provide links to the homepages of other agencies of interest.
Telephone Hot Line
o Facilitate public notice of meetings and public comment using a toll-free
cont. >
Creating Collaborative Communities
Collaboration How-To Manual: Police Service
Public Comment & Discussion
o Encourage citizens to attend the local legislative body’s meetings as well as all
other public meetings and focus groups.
o Publicize agenda items and periods of public comment.
o Advertise in advance and open to the public all meetings where draft versions
of plans will be reviewed and discussed.
Public Outreach
o Develop and deliver a single set of key messages for the general public.
o Provide a number of ways in which the public can provide input, including
community visioning sessions, surveys and email options.
o Regularly schedule visits to area employers, libraries, community events and
other venues to discuss the city’s challenges and opportunities with citizens
and special interest and private sector representatives.
o Make an effort to reach citizens traditionally underrepresented in the decision
making process by identifying such groups and how and where is best to
address them.
o Solicit early and continuing involvement in every aspect of the decision making
o Solicit input and feedback from the public to influence decisions and plans.
o Encourage specific individual actions to help carry out the plans.
Reaching Persons with Special Needs
o Establish procedures to make information available to those with special needs.
For example, all meeting agendas and notices should contain information on
how individuals with disabilities requiring assistance can request reasonable
accommodations at meeting.
o Take all reasonable steps to make the city’s website compliant with Section 508
of the Americans with Disabilities Act; test the site periodically for accessibility
as new versions of software become available.
o When necessary, translate documents into Spanish, Arabic, Braille, etc.
Integration of Public Concerns into Decisions
Response to Comments
o Record all comments received, and ensure that they are reviewed by staff and
presented to decision makers.
Citizen Evaluations
o The evaluation component of the public involvement process is focused on
assuring that the city is effective in facilitating full and open access to the
decision making process for all citizens. Add components to the public
involvement process as appropriate.
o Design citizen evaluations or questionnaires to determine how best to reach
the general public and with what type of information. Make these evaluations
available at meetings where public input is sought.
Creating Collaborative Communities
Collaboration How-To Manual: Police Service
Resource Guide
Making Joint Public Services Work in the 21st Century Intergovernmental Cooperation: Case Studies in
Southeast Michigan – www.semcog.org/Products/pdfs/intergovcasestudies.pdf
Making Joint Public Services Work in the 21st Century/Financing Joint Public Ventures: Alternatives and
Consequences – www.semcog.org/cgi-bin/products/pdfs/CostAllocation2003.pdf
Making Joint Public Services Work in the 21st Century/ Intergovernmental Cooperation: Strategies for
Overcoming Political Barriers – www.semcog.org/products/pdfs/politicalbarriers2003.pdf
Making Joint Public Services Work in the 21st Century/Intergovernmental Collaboration: A Background Paper
Award Winning Joint Projects 2002 – www.semcog.org/products/pdfs/JPSawards2002.pdf
Award Winning Joint Projects 2001 – www.semcog.org/products/pdfs/Jps2001.pdf
Award Winning Joint Projects 2000 – www.semcog.org/cgi-bin/products/publications.cfm
Joint Public Services information page – www.semcog.org/Services/JPS/index.htm
Joint Public Services database – www.semcog.org/Services/JPS/database.htm
Centers for Regional Excellence Program
A Brief Primer on Regional Collaboration
Citizens Research Council of Michigan
The Misuse and Abuse of Special Assessments in Michigan
Catalog of Local Government Services in Michigan summary
Catalog of Local Government Services database
Metropolitan Affairs Coalition
Michigan Association of Counties
Creating Collaborative Communities
Collaboration How-To Manual: Police Service
Michigan Municipal League
Michigan Townships Association
Michigan State University
Buying and Selling Fire Protection
Creating Collaborative Communities
Collaboration How-To Manual: Police Service
“A Brief Primer on Regional Collaboration.” Centers for Regional Excellence Program.
Department of Labor and Economic Growth, State of Michigan. 10 Jan. 2006
Continuum of Collaboration
Taylor, Gary D. “Intergovernmental Cooperation: 21st Century.”
Michigan State University Extension.
Legal Considerations
Taylor, Gary D. “Selected Constitutional and Legislative Provisions Promoting Local Government Cooperation in
Chronological Order (Amendments not reflected).” Public Policy Brief. Nov. 2001.
Financial Considerations
Citizens Research Council. “The Misuse and Abuse of Special Assessments in Michigan.” 1983.
Seidman, Karl F. “Joint Public Ventures Cost Allocation: Alternatives and Consequences.”
Economic Development Finance. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, Inc., 2005. 118.
Cost Allocation
Harvey, Lynn R. “Buying and Selling Fire Protection.” Michigan State University. No. 93-4. Aug. 1995.
Weighing the Pros and Cons
Harvey, Lynn R. “Joint Public Ventures Cost Allocation: Alternatives and Consequences.”
Michigan State University, Dec. 2003. SEMCOG.
Successful Examples
Award Winning Joint Projects 2002 www.semcog.org/products/pdfs/JPSawards2002.pdf
Award Winning Joint Projects 2001 www.semcog.org/products/pdfs/Jps2001.pdf
Award Winning Joint Projects 2000 www.semcog.org/cgi-bin/products/publications.cfm
Merrill, Lawrence, and Amy R. Malmer. “Intergovernmental Cooperation: Strategies for Overcoming Political Barriers.”
SEMCOG. Sept. 2003 - www.semcog.org/products/pdfs/politicalbarriers2003.pdf
Harvey, Lynn R. “Joint Public Ventures Cost Allocation: Alternatives and Consequences.”
Michigan State University, Dec. 2003. SEMCOG.
“A Brief Primer on Regional Collaboration.” Centers for Regional Excellence Program. Department of Labor and
Economic Growth, State of Michigan. 10 Jan. 2006 - www.michigan.gov/cre.
“CRC Memorandum: Catalog of Local Government Services in Michigan. Citizen Research Council of Michigan.
Sept. 2005 - www.crcmich.org/PUBLICAT/2000s/2005/memo1079.pdf.
Creating Collaborative Communities
Collaboration How-To Manual: Police Service
Creating Collaborative Communities
Collaboration How-To Manual: Police Service