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What would it take to form a police dept.?

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  • What would it take to form a police dept.?

    My township is pretty remote, with the nearest police protection 35 miles away at night time, and NO patrol what-so-ever in our area. We are about 5 miles from a town with its own police force, and we have had county protection offered to us but apparently we declined it. The only police jurisdiction in our area is with the state police. I have always been interested in business and law enforcement and I think it would be cool to combine the two. Once I get my degrees in business and law enforcement, what would it take to form a department? Could a "volunteer" department be formed of soley reserves who are on call? I don't think we are large enough to warrant anyone full time but it would be nice to know someone was nearby to help. Plus, we could assist other townships and remote areas if needed.

    What would it take? The township supervisor lives next door to me, so it wouldn't be a long shot to do if I had the right training and connections.

  • #2
    I don't know if you could have a "volutnteer" only police department. I'd imagine that starting from the ground up would be very expensive. I think the most cost effective way would be to contract with the county or state, like you said.

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    • #3
      Forming a Police Department

      Originally posted by michiganDT View Post
      My township is pretty remote, with the nearest police protection 35 miles away at night time, and NO patrol what-so-ever in our area. We are about 5 miles from a town with its own police force, and we have had county protection offered to us but apparently we declined it. The only police jurisdiction in our area is with the state police. I have always been interested in business and law enforcement and I think it would be cool to combine the two. Once I get my degrees in business and law enforcement, what would it take to form a department? Could a "volunteer" department be formed of soley reserves who are on call? I don't think we are large enough to warrant anyone full time but it would be nice to know someone was nearby to help. Plus, we could assist other townships and remote areas if needed.

      What would it take? The township supervisor lives next door to me, so it wouldn't be a long shot to do if I had the right training and connections.
      You don't simply wake up one morning and decide to start a Police Department. The establishment of a Volunteer Fire Dept is much easier from a legal point of view. Police authority in general, has to be derived from some entity, or unit of government. Powers of arrest, and other law enforcement powers are derived from this governmental entity. From your post, it appears that you reside in an unincorporated area of a county. Chances are, the agency you would call upon for assistance is the Sheriff's Dept, or possibly, the Michigan State Police. It is possible you could be annexed into the city you mentioned, but that option has many legal ramifications. If a Sheriff in Michigan is the chief law enforcement officer in his county, he is also responsible for providing law enforcement to the county. Do not for one moment, be tempted to think a "private security" firm could provide law enforcement services to your area. In that regard, you'd be better off in your current situation.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by PhilipCal View Post
        You don't simply wake up one morning and decide to start a Police Department. The establishment of a Volunteer Fire Dept is much easier from a legal point of view. Police authority in general, has to be derived from some entity, or unit of government. Powers of arrest, and other law enforcement powers are derived from this governmental entity. From your post, it appears that you reside in an unincorporated area of a county. Chances are, the agency you would call upon for assistance is the Sheriff's Dept, or possibly, the Michigan State Police. It is possible you could be annexed into the city you mentioned, but that option has many legal ramifications. If a Sheriff in Michigan is the chief law enforcement officer in his county, he is also responsible for providing law enforcement to the county. Do not for one moment, be tempted to think a "private security" firm could provide law enforcement services to your area. In that regard, you'd be better off in your current situation.

        I have been thinking about this for a few months, ever since the town near me told me they don't cover our area. I don't mean a private security firm, I mean convert part of the township hall into a dispatch area, and purchase a squad car or two. A nearby township just like ours has its own police force, with xxxx Township police in its name. I know very little about how government entities work and form so forgive the inexperience, that is why I posted here, I was wondering how that kind of thing worked.
        Last edited by michiganDT; 05-31-2007, 02:49 PM.

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        • #5
          Contract Police Departments in the Great State of Michigan are getting big. Its business. If the township board thinks police protection is warranted based on crime statistics and a desire to have a police department they can create one. They could also contract for police services with the local municipal PD or even the county. Sounds silly right, to contract with an agency that already has to provide police services like the county. Its not. It is the difference between a 2 hour response and a 5 minute response because there is a substation and 5 deps assigned to just police that township. I would venture to say the crime rates in the Twp are low enough that there is really no need for anything other than than MSP or the county to begin with or there would already be a PD working.
          It takes a Wolf.......

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          • #6
            The township trustees would have to approve it and fund it. Even a volunteer force is going to have a cost of at least a vehicle and all of its gas and upkeep, radios, auto ins. and ins. for the P.D. Who ya gonna dispatch through and what's that gonna cost? Who is going to prosecute your cases and house your prisoners? All kinds of things that you need to consider in something like this.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Irishluck31 View Post
              Contract Police Departments in the Great State of Michigan are getting big. Its business. If the township board thinks police protection is warranted based on crime statistics and a desire to have a police department they can create one. They could also contract for police services with the local municipal PD or even the county. Sounds silly right, to contract with an agency that already has to provide police services like the county. Its not. It is the difference between a 2 hour response and a 5 minute response because there is a substation and 5 deps assigned to just police that township. I would venture to say the crime rates in the Twp are low enough that there is really no need for anything other than than MSP or the county to begin with or there would already be a PD working.
              It is low, and here is the funny thing, there is a county substation 5 minutes away from here, but about 1/4 mile to the east of me is the township line and they stop there. If there was a burglar in my house about to shoot me, would they respond to me since it was a life threatening emergency or would I be at the mercy of how fast a trooper could drive 35 miles?

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              • #8
                Thats normal for rural Michigan. No good answer. If the crime rate is low, its low and it will probably stay low. If it hits record highs, your sheriff should pick up the slack. If he doesnt, run for sheriff and fix it.

                good luck with the election...
                It takes a Wolf.......

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                • #9
                  I would venture a guess and say that the city 5 min away you speak of would respond to an emergency call in your township i.e home invasion,shots fired etc. it might be worth contacting their chief and ask him what their policy is. Most likely they will not respond to a service call, but might to a "Hot" call...
                  "I am... reminded of something Cardinal Wolsey once told me. That I should only ever tell the king what he ought to do, not what he could do; for if the lion knows his own strength, no man could control him". Sir Thomas More

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