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

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

"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.

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