Ann Arbor Area Community News
At last night’s County Commission meeting, the Commissioners voted 7-4 to phase out the subsidy of Sheriff’s department patrols to parts of Washtenaw County that lack their own local police departments. Opponents of the decision plan to petition for a County-wide referendum to overturn it, which would require 15,000 signatures to be collected by 25 September in order to place the question on the February ballot.
Currently, the County subsidizes each Sheriff’s department deputy provided to local governments (“Police Service Unit”) at the rate of about $87,000 of the total $176,000 cost of the PSU; there are 90 such PSUs currently contracted for. The plan approved yesterday (pdf) would still allow local governments to contract for PSUs, and would maintain an as-of-yet unfinalized slate of “core services” (such as SWAT and K9), but would require the local governments requiring PSUs to pay the full cost, freeing up money for the County to use to modernize and expand the County Jail despite a bond proposal for that purpose being voted down last February.
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