Some Perkins, Sandusky officials ponder police consolidation

Some local officials believe there are clear benefits to combining the Sandusky and Perkins police departments, but others remain staunchly opposed to the idea.
Andy Ouriel
Feb 21, 2013

Sandusky city commissioner Diedre Cole recently suggested officials should begin exploring the possible benefits of merging the two departments into a single entity.

“Fiscal constraints are forcing everyone to make tough decisions and choices,” Cole said. “Would it not be prudent to investigate any and all possibilities that will facilitate our duty to serve the public and be diligent stewards of the resources entrusted to us?”

Police commanders depend heavily on state funding and area property taxes to fund their operations. Shortages to both income streams, however — Erie County’s collective property value dropped 5 percent, or $ 306 million to about $5.6 billion, in 2013 — have negatively impacted both departments.

In Perkins, the three trustees eliminated four police positions a month ago, reducing the fulltime work force from 20 to 16.

Trustees recently recalled one worker, bumping the full-time roster to 17.

Trustees have placed a p o l i c e l e v y o n May ’s ballot, seeking to generate $2 million a year for five years beginning in 2014.

With many changes on the horizon for both departments, talks of a merger would seem timely. In the coming weeks, Perkins police and other township workers will move into the new $3.3 million Township Hall on Columbus Avenue.

Sandusky leaders, poised to hire a new police chief, are also engaged in union negotiations that could prove costly, as officers are likely guaranteed a small raise sometime in the next three years. If Sandusky police merged with Perkins police, it could be the best answer to a 2011 city-commissioned study on the police department.

The $62,500 report concluded the Sandusky Police Department lacks leadership and runs inefficiently, while its headquarters on Meigs Street needs major upgrades.

City officials are also contemplating a levy to bolster funding for the police department, which has an annual budget of less than $5 million a year.

Regionalization of local government services is hardly a revolutionary idea — Sandusky and Perkins have joined up on several ventures, including police dispatching and public transportation.

Still, it would be a huge undertaking to combine the two police departments, which collectively employ about 80 people.

Comments

KnuckleDragger

The only people who would benefit from this merger is the city of Sandusky. Essentially, the residents of Perkins Twp would pay the lions share of the cost, and the city residents would receive most of the benefits by the beefed up force. The township would suffer longer response times because the officers that are now dedicated to the township would now spend most of their time on calls in Sandusky. Bottom line is that the township residents would have to vote on this, and there is a chance in heck that they would agree to it.

Perkahontas

I can live with 17 officers. Maybe fewer. Let's free-ride my fellow Perkinites.

Darkhorse

Watch for seperate tax levies to promote this idea.

pavedparadise

Absolutely. Question is will voters see right through this sham?

happycamper01

I believe that if Perkins want to be separate then let them get their own dang zip code! When you talk to people who are not locals Perkins is a part of Sandusky. Hardly anyone says they are going into Perkins. They say they are going into Sandusky to shop. Every mailing address states they live in Sandusky, not Perkins Township. It is the Sandusky Mall, not the Perkins Township Mall. Please, combine more than just the police, combine the two into one city. Save confusion and be done with it. Probably could save money by combining schools, police, fire, and everything else. If not then let them get their own zip code and stop using the name of Sandusky in everything.

bobshumway92

Get over yourself.

happycamper01

Hmmmmm...didn't know I was talking about myself. Your comment is noted and my reply is "Whatever...I am not ashamed of the comments I post. Everyone posts their opinions on here. Some agree and some don't. In the long run it is all for fun and to kill time. So, I will post my opinions and you will post yours. However, opinions are like a*****es. Everyone has one but no one wants to hear anyone else's. However, the blog will go on. Have a great day!"

wiredmama222

More power to you, happy.

KnuckleDragger

Townships don't have any say in the assigning of zip codes, they are assigned by the federal gov't based on population, it has nothing to do with what type of political subdivision they are. I have lived in areas where several small incorporated cities shared the same zip code. As I've said before if you want the benefits, move to Perkins. Just another ridiculous class envy response from a city dweller.

happycamper01

I don't live in Sandusky. You assume too much! The only people that differentiate between Perkins and Sandusky are the people who live in Perkins. Nobody else does. What exactly are the benefits of living in Perkins? I don't see any which is why I don't live in either anymore. I would not send kids to Perkins schools anymore than I would send them to Sandusky. Crime is crime and I think Perkins is only slightly better than Sandusky proper. To me when I shop I am going to Sandusky but I try to stay out of that mess. I prefer to shop in Port Clinton or Norwalk. So, again, the only ones who really differentiate are the ones who live in Sandusky Township, I mean Perkins, lol.

rickross2

So Bayview is in the same boat?

richrs

Isn't Bay View a village?

happycamper01

Bay View is part of Margaretta and yes they are in the same boat. They should have a Castalia zip code. They are really are not that closely connected to Sandusky with all that marsh in between. I don't even know how it came to be that they should share a zip code with Sandusky. I don't understand it.

wiredmama222

@richrs...yes, it is a village with its own council and police and fire depts. They do fairly well on their own. Even being part of Margaretta Twsp has not hurt them. But they have their own system of government and everything.

Actually, at one time, they had the zip code of 44871

richrs

@Wired
I thought they still had their owns zip. Thanks for letting me know.

moonbeam

I believe they are talking about combining facilities, not merging one into another. I don't know how big the new building area is. I would think Perkins would want to get used to their new digs first.I have always thought sharing a building is a good cost saving measure.Sandusky would have to pay rent,I'm sure. It would help both departments finantially.

GARY1945

Happycamper01

What you purpose makes too much sense.

bobshumway92

This is a levy that I will support. Vote yes on Perkins Police levy. No on the school.

The Bizness

Why would conservatives not like this idea? Merging services and less people doing the same amount of administrative work would be a good thing wouldn't it?

I would love having the two merge, just like I think that the schools should merge.

KnuckleDragger

If you want the benefits of living in Perkins move there. The only cheerleaders for this idea are Sandusky residents who don't have the financial resources to move to Perkins.

The Bizness

What benefits? I like living in Sandusky, thank you.

BW1's picture
BW1

Bet you rent

BW1's picture
BW1

Conservatives wish to constrain government power and preserve liberty.
Having armed law enforcement in your community whose chain of command is topped by people you cannot vote out of office is not conducive to those ends.

Swamp Fox

Be careful Perkins the "merge" could easily turn into Sandusky "annexing" you with you funding Sandusky's problems. If you "merge" the two police departments you would have to create a "joint police district," ORC 505.49, yet another layer of goverment, with its own governing board. In Ohio only the city of Monroe has a municipality created a joint police district (JPD) all other(JFD) are townships merging. A funding mechanism must also be created, aka tax levy. The Perkins residents should ask, what advantage or improvement of services would this idea offer to us and at what cost?

KnuckleDragger

Very unlikely. In order for a city to annex a township it has to be voted on by the residents of the township. The residents of Perkins will NEVER vote for annexation. That might be different if the city had anything to offer that would be of benefit to Perkins. It doesn't. The only benefit would be to Sandusky due to the fact that they would be able to institute a number of taxes on individuals and businesses that a township can't, income being one of them. The annexing of Perkins by Sandusky would be the best thing that ever happened...for Huron Twp.

Swamp Fox

KuuckleDragger, I wasn't advocating annexation only warning. When you review Chapter 709 of the ORC there are several ways not involving a popular vote that annexation and or merger can occur, the citizens need to be virgil and voice their opinion to their elected officials.

samiam

What "Perkins, Sandusky officials"? Only one official is listed as "pondering" this.

my oh my

This would be a good way to eliminate unnecessary "phat" and/or management positions so more can get done effectively.

Gyro Cart Guy

Shared emergency services . . . shared police . . . shared schools is next.

Trustafarian

The SPD also has shared wives, that's a perk for the Perkins cops.

happycamper01

Schools are already shared...that is what open enrollment is!

Perkins Resident

I, for one, will be voting yes on the Perkins Police levy. We have one of the best departments in the area. We also have some of the best officers in the area. And we definitely have the best K9 unit in the area!

Trustafarian

And a fantastic designated driver and taxi service. The epitome of "Serve and Protect".

Perkins2060

Sandusky's perfect.

Scarlett

I beg to differ. Justice is pretty amazing too!

PerkinsVoter

Who are all of the Perkins officials mentioned in the head line? It only mentioned Cole.

Darkhorse

Annexationg just took on a whole new meaning in merging without it being legalized.

PerkinsVoter

I am voting NO to all township levies because I pay $200 more to the township than last year. They never should have wasted money on that palace called new township hall.

Mrjsiah1

Isnt it funnt how knuclehead has so much to say even but lives in herion count. When it comes to his own back yard is mute.

bigrmachine

Whats the big deal ...I thought from what I have been reading in the newspaper as of recently that the Cedar Point Police was running the show...lol and with all this technology out there ..just let the public police themselves.

If it were not for all the lake attractions and the need for people to have extended stays is what made Perkins township..take all that away and you have nothing but a rotting mall and a slew of seasonal eateries...so those township folk ,stop your complaining because it looks to me like the taxpayers who make it all happen in Erie county are the ones who come in summer and pay to play.

It is about the safety of the people.

rickross2

I'm putting my house up for sale right now before it's WORTHLESS!

rickross2

Even though I'm on the southside of 8 Mile, the future is bleek.

richrs

Being dead set against the combining of ANY township services with the city, as I am sure the rest of the township residents are, I could see all governmental bodies combining the purchasing of equipment and vehicles for a better price. I could also see the combining of traing facilities and training costs. This could work well for all jurisdictions within Erie County. Maybe even combining insurance and such would work also.

2cents's picture
2cents

"police consolidation"

A Jolly D expansion? just kidding guys! LOL : )

BW1's picture
BW1

Merge fire, sanitation, any number of services, but NEVER the police.

Never hand over law enforcement in your community to someone who does not answer via an unbroken, undivided vertical chain of accountability to someone you can vote out of office.

KURTje

Knuckle d you need to run for office. You know so much.

wiredmama222

Funny that this is brought up by Cole right when the city is about to appoint a new chief of police. She might have brought this up before she raised such a "rucus" about the police chief in the first place. NOW she wants to combine with Perkins? What is it about the police that this particular commissioner has with the police?

And to top it off, this is a convenient excuse to raise levy talk??? Oh, please. Perhaps if they weren't expending so much stupid money on such things as REDOING the search (over her complaints) for a chief of police, and other sundry things some of these council people come up with, this city might not have such a mess.

I will never understand why ANY council needs a study on a study for the life of me. These people are elected to make their OWN studies and make decisions, not pass the buck.

But merging with Perkins isn't the answer any more than asking them to merge fire departments. Come now, who is getting the better of THAT merger may I ask? And I live in Sandusky. Even I don't have the gall to expect the people of Perkins to foot the bill for Sandusky and that is exactly what would happen. Just look at the tax base.

And if you start there, what is next? The entire city merging? Just watch, that wouldn't be far off. (no offense to those living in either place).

Seems to me what this city REALLY needs is new leaders at the helm and some good old fashioned, sound, money management. And a lot less pie in the sky ideas. Start with living within your means.

richrs

Hey Wired, I could never understand all the studies that the city does. I always joked that it's surprising that they don't commission a study to decide how to hang the toilet paper in city hall. Over or under. Bet to make some savings isn't there a lot of very skilled business owners and maybe even retired experts or proffessors in the city could like volunteer a bit of time for their community to save tens of thousands of dollars in Sandusky?? Something to consider when you're sitting at the big table in the front of the room.