Albion Public Safety is considering putting together a proposal to provide police services for Parma Township after the township clerk contacted chief Eric Miller Monday.
Miller brought the issue to the city council, stating he believed it was a good opportunity to look at the possibilities of crossing the county line to provide services to “people we already have a relationship with and make some important connections that could be beneficial down the line.”
Council agreed to have Miller move forward with formal talks with Parma Township Clerk Donald Spangler on the details of the services they are interested in and the amount of money they are willing to put toward protection.
Parma Township Supervisor Wendy Chamberlin said the township currently has no working agreements with Albion, but there is also “no negativity” between it and the city.
“We’ve had a good working relationship with the city of Albion and after the first of the year we plan on receiving bids for coverage,” she said. “In my opinion it wouldn’t be anything other than a contractual agreement — it wouldn’t be starting up a new department or anything like that.”
Miller said an agreement could possibly provide public safety with funds to hire more officers and purchase new equipment, but he also needed to look deeper into some of the legalities and conditions of patrolling in a different county.
He said Jackson County and Calhoun County officers operate on different radio frequencies utilizing different transceiver technologies, but that could be resolved.
He also was unsure of which county’s facility people would be transported following arrests.
Councilman Andy Zblewski said the partnership sounded promising on a number of levels.
“I know Gov. Granholm during her years often looked at how you interact with neighboring areas when it came to awarding grants and I imagine that would continue,” he said.
Councilman Maurice Barnes Jr. agreed that “pure consolidation” is worthwhile for the city to consider, but he “doesn’t want to see anything etched in stone until he sees the exact costs and services provided.”
Miller said he plans on meeting with Spangler soon and he will update the council of any new information at their next meeting.
Chamberlin said the township board hasn’t counted the number of bids they have to consider and she expects a decision to be made once a quorum is present following the New Year.
As published in the Jackson Citizen Patriot on Dec. 21, 2010