Voters say no to public safety

By: April Lehmbeck | Advertiser Times | Published May 4, 2011

HARPER WOODS — After years of contentious debate over the use of cross-trained police and firefighters, voters had a chance to chime in on what they want.

The answer: It’s not a conversion to public safety.

Of the more than 2,500 voters who came out May 3 to cast their ballots on a charter amendment that would allow for the combination of the Police and Fire departments into one public safety department, 58 percent voted against the measure.

The city’s firefighters union has been fighting the use of cross-trained police officers since the beginning, but it’s something the city argued was needed in order to balance an increasingly challenging budget.