Program: Uniform Services

Appropriation:

Interdepartmental Grants

$610,100

Federal Revenue:

$1,500,000

Special Revenue Funds:

$33,284,700

GF/GP:

$122,271,300

Total:

$159,649,100

Program Description:

This appropriation funds uniformed police services — such as road patrols. The Michigan State Police (MSP) provide many law enforcement services that local and county agencies cannot. Patrolling highways and writing traffic tickets is not one of these services, however. It would cost far less to the state to devolve road patrol duties to county sheriffs, and let the MSP focus on services that require greater specialization and economies of scale. Among the latter are forensic science and lab services, criminal databases, and special operations, etc.

Recommended Action:

Devolve road patrol to the counties and fund the patrol work with grants from this line item. The total spent on this line item could drop by 28 percent, since state police receive more lucrative salaries and benefits than do sheriff’s deputies. Indeed, the average state trooper receives $90,000 annually in wages and benefits whereas county sheriff’s deputies average $65,000 to $70,000. Taxpayers could save $65 million on this line item and enjoy no net loss in road patrol personnel. These savings assume proportional reductions in department-wide administrative, support, and state police post expenses that would be possible given a large reduction in personnel. Savings: $65,000,000. Governor Granholm’s 2005 proposal increases the gross appropriation to $169,119,200.