Oakland County officials are grappling with a funding disparity for the Courts and Law Enforcement Management Information System (CLEMIS), which is used by criminal justice and public safety agencies in the metro Detroit area to share information and provide communication capabilities between multiple branches of law enforcement.
Net support from Oakland County taxpayers is expected to come in at $3.7 million for Fiscal Year (FY) 2011, compared to the $108,515 in total net support from non-Oakland County agencies, according to Deputy County Executive Bob Daddow.
Communities are charged CLEMIS access fees based on the number of sworn officers that a police department has as of Jan. 1 of each year. In addition, non-Oakland County police agencies pay a 10-percent premium on access fees.
The CLEMIS advisory board met last week and approved a four-year plan including a 5-percent increase on Oakland County communities’ access fees, and an 8-percent hike on non-Oakland County departments’ access fees.
“That won’t close the gap, but it’s moving in the right direction,” Daddow said.
What had at one point been an Oakland County-only system through the mid-1990s was expanded to include other metro Detroit area communities with the receipt of a Community Oriented Policing Services Making Officer Redeployment Effective (COPS MORE) grant through the U.S. Department of Justice, Daddow said. There are now 5,000 sworn officers using the system in the region.
Oakland County Commissioner Bill Dwyer (R-Farmington), who was the Farmington Hills police chief for more than two decades, said the Telephone Operating Surcharge Parity Task Force — which was created in the spring — has met several times since it was formed.
“I think what we have to do is start with a phase-in program,” Dwyer said. “The problem that I have, personally, is if all of a sudden you tell all these agencies (outside of Oakland County) that they have to pay (more) dollars they may drop out. The negative effect is that all of the data Oakland County receives from these agencies would be lost.”
“We are going to be looking at that during our budget negotiations,” he said.