Delaware to study idea of police, fire merger

Full story: ThisWeek Community Newspapers

Handing all emergency medical runs over to the county, and merging the police and fire departments are ideas Delaware city officials are considering as they seek ways to trim costs.
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1 - 20 of 32 Comments Last updated Feb 7, 2010
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pirate1952

Delaware, OH

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#1
Jan 31, 2010
 
Life/Safety forces are a core activity of government, if there are cuts to be made perhaps the first should be recreation, not a core activity. There is no way I would vote for an increase in income tax/ seperate police/fire levy.
AverageJim

Chillicothe, OH

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#2
Jan 31, 2010
 
I wish I could run my household like the Gov runs theirs. If I over-extend myself financialy I either have to return the items, sell them or sell something else. If I could just get my neighbors, all 34,ooo plus, to all pitch in an extra dime to my household every month, I could keep my home and all my baggage. Its good to hear them talk about doing something to not use a levy but, they still ended the last sentence with ballot talk. Yeah, to bad they are not forced to run their offices the way I have to run my home. That would be a no vote for me.
No Guts

Ridley Park, PA

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#3
Jan 31, 2010
 
Delaware City talking about an August ballot when a lot of voters are on vacation. Come on City people man or woman up, if you are going to put an issue on the ballot do it only in November when the most people vote. No need to try and sneak an issue through during an off election or special election.
Mack

AOL

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#4
Jan 31, 2010
 
Leave it to an inept city manager to send the police and fire chiefs all the way to Michigan when the City of Oakwood (a suburb of Dayton, Ohio) has a similar agency. Oakwood is one of the few that have such a cross trained department in Ohio. When you include all the manditory training (required in Ohio for police and fire, but maybe not in Michigan) each member has to undergo annually, it substantially limits their hours of availability for actual work.

I find it interesting that the City manager claimed they were cutting administrative positions (when they passed a budget that included layoffs for police and fire) yet, turned around and hired a new development director, one of the eliminated positions. Don't get me wrong. I am not questioning the need for development, just pointing out how Homan mislead the public and the unions he was retaliating against. In the past, the city passed a levy on the back of safety forces and then supplanted the funds. I believe the public may support a levy if ALL additional income is used for public safety in addition to the current budget appropriations for police and fire.

The Delaware Police and Fire Departments are some of the most professional in their respective fields. Why do the citizens let a city manager that came from a small community that did not even have a police department make such recommendations is beyond me. Most city managers are only in a community for 5 to 6 years. Perhaps it is time to look for a new city manager or explore a mayor form of government.
Monty

Delaware, OH

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#5
Jan 31, 2010
 
Coming from the state up North, we should know better. Police Officers carry enough equipment without having to take on the responsibility of "treatment" prior to transport. As a former Police Officer, I see that City opening them self up for failure when the first time an officer has to fight to arrest someone and then turn around and administer first aid. Our mind and body is not wired for that. Would you want someone who just shot you to give you first aid?
delaware resident

Radnor, OH

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#6
Jan 31, 2010
 

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the emt service is paid for in this county by a .5 percent sales tax the idea of the fire depertment runing the city emt is making me pay two times for the same service. we have done this for years so the fire dept. looks like they are over worked. at the same time they run fire truckes to the house, most of the time they do nothing when they get there. give the 911 calls to the county and the emt runs also.keep the fire and police seperate. if the city needs more money cut the parks dept. this winter i have seen the parks people cleaning bike paths that nobody uses of snow. just make work. the goverment way. no tax increase from me. i do not even want to see one one the ballet. and there never needs to be a special vote, it"s a trick to get past the voters.
presjack

United States

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#7
Feb 1, 2010
 

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the city gets reimbursed by the county for EMS runs, so you are not being billed twice. It also occurs in Liberty twp.(the two places who had EMS before the sales tax went into effect).

Many have attempted the PSO concept (cross trained police fire), few have succeeded. I would have wished they would have visited a successful one and a failed one. Regardless, it won't happen in Delaware. It generally can only succeed in places where fire and police call volumes are fairly low.

There are plenty of places to cut your budget Mr. Homan.

“I'm a lovely cat”

Since: Nov 09

On the sofa

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#8
Feb 1, 2010
 

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AverageJim wrote:
I wish I could run my household like the Gov runs theirs. If I over-extend myself financialy I either have to return the items, sell them or sell something else. If I could just get my neighbors, all 34,ooo plus, to all pitch in an extra dime to my household every month, I could keep my home and all my baggage. Its good to hear them talk about doing something to not use a levy but, they still ended the last sentence with ballot talk. Yeah, to bad they are not forced to run their offices the way I have to run my home. That would be a no vote for me.
What's really too bad is that you don't understand economics at even a basic level. Government budgets and spending just don't work the same way as personal spending. Go back to school.

“I'm a lovely cat”

Since: Nov 09

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#9
Feb 1, 2010
 

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Mack wrote:
The Delaware Police and Fire Departments are some of the most professional in their respective fields.
Whatever you're smoking, pass it over here.

This is just another hairbrained "solution" that is never going to happen. Isn't it painfully obvious that city and county workers wouldn't share a rope if they were both drowning, let alone work together on something of this magnitude? How many other proposed projects have we seen that would require a minimal amount of cooperation, which ended up dead before they got off the ground because no one in the city or county government plays well with others?
unhappy but not suprised

Delaware, OH

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#10
Feb 1, 2010
 
Well this isn't really a surprise as it has been said that City Manager Homan did a similar stunt in his past position. We have a system that works and excellanty trained fire and police! I have work closely with both as a volunterr and I am amazed that they are able to be as proficient as there are with the little they have to work with. It is amazing to see how each department has superb response time considering that they have the little man power they have.

We move here from a nearby community that was larger, had more funds but lacked the community togetherness that is in Delaware and because of the community policing that the police department is working so hard on. Unfortunately some of those volunteer opportunities to assist the department have had to be put on the back burner due to budget cuts. Those oppotunities were to assist officers so they can concentrate on the serious calls and the trained volunteers could do the more of the miscellaneous things like security at the high school football games to report to the officer on duty at the game if they saw something that required attention. One officer cannot cover the whole football stadium.

As to the fire department/emt/paramedics services, I have a brother who is a paramedic and a Capatain in his volunteer fire department. I have seen and have heard the stories of how things go without enough help. Our firefighters treat each person with the utmost respect and care to everyone they come into contact! I have been a victim of arson and have had to use the city EMT services. I have never ever felt they were not experts in their positions both on and off duty. they are always willing to help with what ever your need is.

There is no reason to combine city with county! Our city government need to look hard in other places to SUPPORT our safety services in our city!

I agree with the ctatements regarding the city manager saying one thing and then doing another. I also agree with maybe it is time to look for someone for that position who doesn't have a face for public but there own agenda.
The election should be held in November when the vast majority of residents vote. not sneek it through!

“I'm a lovely cat”

Since: Nov 09

On the sofa

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#11
Feb 1, 2010
 

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unhappy but not suprised wrote:
time to look for someone for that position who doesn't have a face for public but there own agenda
What?
Bodie

Grove City, OH

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#12
Feb 1, 2010
 
This is what should have been done in Franklin County some yeras back but egos killed it. We would have all saved money under a plan like this
buckeyefan

Dublin, OH

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#13
Feb 1, 2010
 

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This "plan" by the city manager is truly a joke. What the city and Liberty Township and others in Delaware County need to do is get their share of the 1/2% sales tax that the county is collecting for "county-wide EMS services". Less that half of that being collected is actually being spent on EMS services.This has been proposed to this city manager and city council in the past. Evidently they do not have the intestinal fortitude to actually demand their share or go to the voters and repeal the 1/2% sales tax.
miss skeptic

Westerville, OH

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#14
Feb 1, 2010
 
Wow! Who will we fire first? The police chief? The captains in the fire dept.?

Why does Delaware even have a city manager? Don't they have a mayor that could do the same job? Don't go calling me stupid, I'm just asking.
former Kzoo resident

Lawrenceville, GA

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#15
Feb 1, 2010
 

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presjack wrote:
It generally can only succeed in places where fire and police call volumes are fairly low.
kalamazoo is a big city that runs 7 police/fire districts. they do not have a low call volumme by any means and they are quite successful at it. not to mention the officer/ff's love the schedule!
Full Monty

United States

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#16
Feb 1, 2010
 
Wow, what kinda of weed do ya'll smoke up there? Who's going to fight crime when there's a fire. It won't take long to figure out that if you set fire to something then the crooks can rob your town blind. Oh they are already doing that.
Just remember this " we don't give a darn about the whole state of Michigan the whole state of Michigan, we don't give a darn about the whole state of Michigan cause we're from OHIO.
WE DON'T NEED THAT CRAP HERE!!! Police do there thing and firefighters do theres.
FrmDelaware

Petoskey, MI

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#17
Feb 2, 2010
 
What Tom Homan is proposing is the modern gold standard for municipalities providing police and fire services. The dirty secret of most fire departments in the u.s.- in addition to them being very expensive operations - is that when you take away medical runs, that there really are not many reasons that a fire truck needs to leave the fire house on a regular basis. Typically, for example, there are very few actual structure fires in a community.
By cross-training police and fire personnel you can actually increase service levels to the community at a lower cost. Kalamazoo is the largest public safety department in the United States, so it is a good community to model.
What Homan is proposing is a significant change, but one that Delaware residents will benefit from in the long run. I find it strange that many of us want increased government efficiency, but that police and fire services - some of the most expensive operations of local governments - should somehow be exempt from this type of critical examination.
The public safety model works.

“I'm a lovely cat”

Since: Nov 09

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#18
Feb 2, 2010
 
FrmDelaware wrote:
By cross-training police and fire personnel you can actually increase service levels to the community at a lower cost.
I'm completely prepared to believe this, because it makes sense. It makes sense to cross-train everyone at every level. But these local boyz would have to be dragged kicking and screaming to do someone else's job when they don't even do their own most of the time. Try calling a fire station on an afternoon when the Buckeyes are playing an important away game and see how helpful they are with a routine question. Try calling the sheriff's office and asking the same kind of routine question, such as whether your neighbor is allowed to discharge his semi-automatic weapon for 30 minutes straight while you're having a family picnic. You'll get the same lack of interest.

While cooperation and cross-training may very well be the way to go, if the players are not willing to go there it's a moot point. And so far the city and county have shown no ability at all to work together on anything.
Government Changes

United States

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#19
Feb 2, 2010
 
they have no clue any more on how to budget makes you wonder why every town and city around here had fruitful spending including our schools now they want to increase taxes raise fees it is just like when minimum wage went up.

if you think about it the recession started when minimum wage increased. Businesses have a certain margin goal and if their costs go up such as paying their employees more sell prices must also rise to maintain the same profit it is one huge loop than prices went up those who were at minimum wage thought it was an increase but now they still have to pay more for goods so their increase was meaningless. Now people were cutting back spending less and look at what happens. way to go government no i am not blaming obama or bush this is everyone who we have elected right down to our local congress and senate. We vote these people into office well I strongly believe it is time for change. Change for the better not change to make a quick buck. Does everyone in office need to make 6 figures? do ceos of banks and corporations need to make millions? The answer is No and if you believe the same as I do please respond to this message. I think it is time for Ohio to stand up and unit write letters to your congressmen and senator tell them you are tired of this and need a change. Perhaps I should be runnnig for office but thanks to all of these higher taxes i wouldnt even have the funds to advertise on dispatch.
Full Monty

Grove City, OH

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#20
Feb 2, 2010
 
Ya'll that think this a good idea are out to lunch. First of all the people voted for the raise in the minimum wage, why cause you just can't make it on 3.35 an hour. Second the sheriff department and all police department are already over taxed in there service due to the increase in crime that the economy has brought. Increased stealing because they want to feed there family let alone all the other crap they deal with. The Police officers have enough on there plate why give them anymore, likewise the firefighters they just don't sit around with there thumbs up you know where waiting for something to happen, they are your insurance policy to keep you safe in your time of emergency. Both the firefighters and police are highly educated and well train in the professions but each one has a specific job to do. Look at it this way you don't call a plumber to do electrical work you call an electrician, why because he is more educated in that specific field. Answer this how much hose and water and all the tools can you fit into a police car? If you think it's a good idea then go to the fire station and ride along and find out what they do and then do the same with a police officer and it will become very obvious that they are two different jobs that not everyone can do. If it works in Michigan that's great but I think you would be suprised to find out it isn't that great and it has it's draw backs. Lets leave it there and keep ourselves totally safe.

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