Members of the Roseville Fire Department are among the city officials who make up a committee to discuss police and fire operations.

Members of the Roseville Fire Department are among the city officials who make up a committee to discuss police and fire operations.

Photo by Deb Jacques

After rescinding public safety ordinance, city leaders discuss police and fire operations

By: Bria Brown | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published August 8, 2018


ROSEVILLE — Since the Roseville City Council in early June repealed an ordinance to create a Department of Public Safety, the administrative committee that was set up to discuss police and fire operations and recommendations has had two meetings — the last being July 24 — and it will continue to meet, according to Roseville City Manager Scott Adkins.

“We are making some progress in dialogue, and we’ve had a lot of open communication. We are looking to continue the meetings,” said Adkins.

The committee consists of two members from police patrol, two members from police command, two members from the Fire Department, the fire chief, the police chief, two members of the council, the city attorney, the city controller and the city manager.

“We will meet individually with the Police Department to address police needs, and then we will meet individually with the Fire Department for their needs, and, of course, we will continue to meet with the full committee,” said Adkins. 

Adkins said the committee is viewing more than just ways to generate revenue. 

“We’re looking at budgetary controls — which is both revenue and expense — we’re looking at both of those issues. We’re also looking at operational efficiencies, we’re reviewing staffing, and every delicate detail of both police and fire operations, we’re looking at,” said Adkins. 

Mike Schwartz, of the fire union, told the Eastsider July 31 that the meetings are also allowing the committee to discuss creative ways to generate revenue.

“Everyone who has a seat at the table would like to come up with ways on how to maintain the city’s money, the city’s services and continue to provide the quality of city services that the residents have come to expect from us,” said Schwartz. 

Schwartz also said that the Fire Department has always tried to be a part of the solution. In 2011, the Fire Department took concessions to offset the city’s financial struggles.

“When the economy dipped, we took concessions then to help — that’s why we were taken off guard when the city did such a harsh turn going to public safety without having a discussion with the department and fire union,” said Schwartz. 

The Roseville Fire Association said that the May 29 Roseville City Council special meeting — which ended with Roseville Police Chief James Berlin being voted 7-0 as the director to oversee the Police and Fire departments, effective immediately — was an Open Meetings Act violation and would have created drastic reductions to the Fire Department by 2024, according to Roseville Fire Association President Scott Bala.

Schwartz said the committee will need more meetings, and two meetings isn’t enough to find a solution.

“We have to walk away from these meetings and do more research on what will work to bring in revenue,” he said. “They’re definitely heading in a positive direction, and everyone is coming up with great ideas.” 

The next meeting had not been scheduled as of July 31, but the committee plans to have a meeting at least every two weeks.