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The Hill

Contract, not consolidate


April 24, 2014
CITY OF GROSSE POINTE — The evolving concept of public safety consolidation is in the "contract" stage.

The goal becomes to save operating costs by contracting police and fire duties to a neighboring city rather than multiple jurisdictions merging services into a separate operating entity.

"Neither Grosse Pointe Park nor Farms are particularly interested in establishing an authority to share public services in a joint authority format," said Peter Dame, manager of the City of Grosse Pointe. "But, both cities are interested in discussing services that could provide the City public safety on a contractual basis."

At the City's March council meeting, the council instructed Dame to assess interest by the Park and Farms to take over the public safety department.

"An authority becomes a little more cumbersome," said Shane Reeside, Farms manager. "You're changing the whole governance and creating, sometimes, a separate tax authority."

A contractual arrangement is less rigid, yet could contain safeguards found in joint authorities.

An agreement with the Farms may ensure the City a voice in hiring personnel, Reeside said.

"If the city is looking to contract public safety services, like some municipalities have done with a county sheriff, that's something we could look at," he added.

"We should set a meeting in May to talk about this further," Dame said.

The Farms currently is contracted to handle public safety dispatching and prisoner lockup for Grosse Pointe Shores.

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