Chiefs would still lead own departments


IMLAY CITY — Members of the Imlay City Commission were handed a draft ordinance at their meeting last week, proposing the formation of a Public Safety Department for the city.

The idea was floated to commission members a few weeks ago by City Manager Craig Horton and Police Chief Brett Selby.

“Not a lot would change as far as day to day operations,” Horton told the board. “The Chiefs would still run their daily operations and be responsible for creating their own budget, just like they do now.”

The draft states, “An ordinance to merge and consolidate the Imlay City Police Department and Fire Department into the Imlay City Public Safety Department.”

Both Horton and Chief Selby say if the new department was formed, there would not be cross training as in some communities, where police officers are trained firefighters too.

The proposal has been given as more of an administrative move, where if the Commission chooses, a Director would oversee both departments and potentially gain some strength in applying for funding through grants that would help both fire and police.

Imlay City Manager Craig Horton

The proposed document went on to say in Section 4; “A Department of Public Safety is hereby created which shall have the power and authority to manage and direct all activities, facilities and personnel for the enforcement of laws and ordinances relating to emergency and non-emergency fire and injury accidents within the City.”

The same section went on to say, “The Department of Public Safety shall also be responsible for the protection of life and property, the keeping of peace and good order and the management of personnel and equipment necessary to perform such functions as well as any other duties and activities related to providing police protection to City residents and businesses.”

City officials say the main change in how the departments run now and what is proposed in the draft agreement is that a “Public Safety Director” would oversee both departments.
The draft ordinance explains, “the Public Safety Director shall be called upon to perform any or all of the following essential functions,” which in part includes development, recommendations and implementation of department policies, procedures, internal controls along with goals and objectives in accordance with each department’s needs.

The document, in part, went on to outline Director duties as, “Develop long term plans to improve department operations, law enforcement, crime and fire prevention efforts, fire suppression and emergency programming.”

Commission member Al Ramirez asked at an earlier meeting if much of this isn’t already being done now.

“In my opinion, we already have a Director right there (pointing to City Manager Horton). Why do we need more management?”

The Commission is expected to further discuss and possibly take some kind of action on the matter at an upcoming meeting.”