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Patrolmens Association

Response to Mayor Brittons
Open Letter To The Madison Village Community

February 15, 2016

The members of the Madison Village Police Department and the community were shocked
on Friday to learn of the Mayors and some members of Village Councils efforts to
dissolve the Village Police department and contract with Madison Township for police
service. This came without warning and without discussion with the police union or
Village patrol officers.

The Madison Village Police Department is currently made up of a full and part time staff
including the Chief, 15 sworn officers (1 serving as the School Resource Officer), 1
Auxiliary officer, 2 clerks and 2 school crossing guards. The MVPD has, for over 80 years,
protected and served the residents and community of Madison Village. We are a small
village with different requirements than a large township, and the MVPD strives to serve
those needs. In addition to what most people would think of as normal police patrol, we
also focus on small town community policing - activities such as Neighborhood Watch,
youth bicycle safety programs, Madison Safety Town, business checks, foot patrols,
increased neighborhood patrols and many more. The Village Police Departments ONLY
focus is MADISON VILLAGE. This type of focus on Madison Village will be lost through
contracting with a larger department with different priorities.

The Township Police Department is a fine organization, and it serves the Township well.
It is, however, a very busy police department. Those of us familiar with the volume and
nature of calls requiring multiple cars the Township must respond to, know how often the
Township officer in the Village zone will be required to leave it. Under a contract with a
large, busy police department, the reduced presence of a patrol unit in the Village, as well
as the loss of current police staff presence at our station on weekdays of the Chief, Clerk,
and occasional part time officers will be a clear and obvious reduction in police protection
and service.

As for the Mayors letter to the community, we would like to address several points that
he has brought up. (His letter is available on the Villages website)

The Mayor argues that the police department is running at less than full staffing. He states
full staffing would be 6 full time patrol officers. The last time MVPD had 6 full time patrol
officers was a decade ago. At that time, we had two patrol cars on each shift. We currently
run one car on each shift. He states the department cannot effectively run this way. He
implies that shifts are not able to be filled and states the Chief has to run patrol. To our

knowledge MVPD has never in the last decade had an open shift where the road was not
covered, The number of times the Chief offered, or was required to cover a shift in the
past year was a handful at most. A Chief occasionally working a road shift occurs at many
smaller departments. At MVPD, the declining number of part time village officers and
refusal of the Village to hire new part time officers to replace them is mostly to blame.
While additional full time officers might be an option in the future, the MVPD can and
does function effectively with our 3 current full time officers and part time staff. We could
operate more effectively if the Village would allow the department to replace the part
time officers that have left - many due to a growing lack of support from the
administration. The claim that the department cannot be run effectively is simply not

The Mayor then cites the number of $836,000 as the annual budget required for 6 full
time officers as a cost comparison. Again, this is a staffing level that has not been in
existence for over a decade. Six full time officers would provide two cars on each shift.
This would be double the coverage of the Townships proposed plan of having a single car
that would primarily spend its shift in the Village. Is the Village stating that two cars per
shift are required to provide a safe community? If so, why would they contract for only
one car per shift? This is a misleading claim intended to exaggerate possible cost savings
by contracting.

The Townships proposal starts at $575,000 and rises each and every year with year five
reaching $619. 889. However, these are not the total costs. Looking at the Townships
proposed contract, the Village will also turn over thousands of dollars of Village owned
equipment including police cruisers, weapons, radios, etc. The Village will also pay the
ongoing expenses for a substation inside the Village including costs for furnishing,
computers, utilities and maintenance. The Village will pay any additional costs of
incarceration, medical treatment, and medical testing of individuals apprehended in the
Village. The Village will also be responsible for other pass through increases, such as
potential labor cost increases. There are no ceilings on these additional costs in the
contract, and the Village has no idea what the ongoing costs will be at the expiration of the
initial contract. Negotiating a financially sound second contract will be difficult, after
dissolving the MVPD and having few options other than renewing or going to the Sheriffs

The Mayor lists the Police Departments 2015 budget as $656,100 in total, with $370,784
coming from the general fund, and $234,749 coming from the 2014 Police Levy. It is
difficult for us to confirm these numbers since the Village does not make its budget
available on its website, and the administration routinely does not comply with public
information requests from our Union pertaining to financial matters. However, well
assume those numbers to be correct. The tax levy money of $235K annually is a
substantial amount, and an important component of revenue to the police department
and the Villages overall budget.

The police levy funds present a major obstacle in making the case to dissolve the police
department for financial reasons. In May 2014, the voters of Madison Village were
presented with a ballot question with clearly stated language, a proposed tax levy

for the benefit of Madison Village for the purpose of providing and maintaining
motor vehicles, communications, other equipment, buildings, and sites for buildings
used directly in the operation of the police department, or the payment of salaries of
permanent or part-time police, communications, or administrative personnel to
operate the same.

The tax levy was promoted by the administration as a way to strengthen and improve the
Madison Village Police Department. Village residents wanting to secure a strong future for
Madison Village and their local police department passed the levy. The language of the
levy makes the proceeds from it restricted to the use described, which is to operate the
Madison Village Police Department. The levy language does not allow for the use of the
levy funds for contracted police protection or other police services. It clearly reads used
directly in the operation of the police department.

Even if the Village would prevail in the inevitable legal challenge to their ability to use the
levy funds for contracting with the Township, the attempted repeal of the police levy
would almost surely follow. For a levy narrowly passed by 10 votes, and sold to the public
as a way to improve the Madison Village Police Department, does anyone expect that
support for a repeal would be hard to muster? The vast majority of Yes voters will feel
betrayed, and a likely large majority of No voters who were opposed to the levy back in
2014 will support a repeal as well.

Facing a very possible loss of the $235K in levy money, any idea of financial savings for
the Village under this proposal collapses. Using the Mayors own figures, the MVPD costs
the Village $370,784 from the general fund and most of the rest comes from the levy. Take
the levy away, and the contract with the township still costs over $575,000 in the first
year. How can the Village guarantee the levy money will continue when it is no longer
used for what the voters approved it for? How will the Village afford to pay for the
contracted police services without the $235K in levy money? Have the Township Trustees
considered how the Village will pay for the contract without levy funds?

There are also additional legal questions that need addressed concerning Article IX of the
Village Charter and whether the Village has legal authority to dissolve the police

This proposal dissolves YOUR Madison Village Police Department that has served this
community for nearly 85 years, gives up YOUR local control of your police protection,
gives up YOUR control over future cost increases, decreases the services you have come to
expect from your police, impacts the safety and well being of all Village residents, and may
in fact increase the Village net costs for police coverage with the likely loss of levy money.

We urge everyone to take a fair and honest look at the Village proposal and consider all
the possible ramifications. Ask questions of your elected leaders, voice your opinions, and
come to Tuesdays council meeting and the meetings that follow.

The Madison Village Patrolmens Association