Comprehensive, efficient and effective police services are essential to a community's quality of life including its economic development, human services, public works and other public policy initiatives. Based upon a foundation of community engagement, input, and data analysis, the Sheriff's Office aim is to provide a "total" police services approach focused on meeting the diverse needs of our many Washtenaw County communities. This is fundamental to the Sheriff's Office mission of creating public safety, providing quality service and building strong and sustainable communities.
Service Philosophy - Problem Oriented Policing (POP)
Our philosophy in addressing crime and crime related issues is problem oriented policing (POP) (PDF). Crime is not just a police problem; it's a community problem. Accordingly, POP provides Deputies and the communities we serve with a way of thinking about and assessing crime problems in partnership, by bringing all of the community's stakeholders and resources together to address specific crime and its related causes. It places a high value on responses that address root causes, are preventive in nature, are not necessarily dependent upon the use of the criminal justice system alone, and that engage other public and human service agencies, the community and private sector when their involvement has the potential to contributing to the reduction or elimination of the problem.
Service Foundation - Highly Trained Staff
A 24 hour county-wide operation, the foundation of our police service delivery is highly-trained, experienced Deputy Sheriff's, working in and serving our communities every day. Responding to approximately 53, 289 service calls each year, Deputies address and investigate crime and crime related problems, conduct traffic crash investigations, arrest persons who commit or a charged with crimes, prevent crime, render assistance to motorists, attend the sick and injured, protect life, property and generally preserve and promote public peace. Led by a Division Commander, Police Services is staffed by 91 Deputy Sheriff's, 8 Detectives, 14 Sergeants, 4 Lieutenants.
Service Collaboration - Reducing Costs & Meeting Local Needs
A great strength of the Sheriff's Office is its ability to provide cost-effective, community-centric, comprehensive police services at a significantly reduced cost. As a result, in addition to general police services, the Sheriff's Office acts as the Ann Arbor Township, Dexter Township, Dexter Village, Lodi Township, Salem Township, Scio Township, Superior Township, Webster Township, Manchester Village, York Township, and Ypsilanti Township police agencies via contract. With Sheriff's Office support, a number of these jurisdictions have combined together to form policing collaborations that further reduce their costs while enhancing police coverage. By working in collaboration, these communities save tax payer dollars while providing a high-level of service to their residents.
Sheriff's Office Police Services is characterized by a long history of collaboration with local units of government and other State and local public safety and emergency service organizations through the County to deliver cost-effective, quality service to residents, business owners and visitors to Washtenaw County. Collaborations reduce costly service duplication by combining resources to enhance operations and service quality. For example, the Washtenaw Metro-SWAT team is made up of representatives from the Ann Arbor Police Department, Ypsilanti Police Department and Sheriff's Office, as is the Metro-Crisis Negotiations Team. Unique resources include computer and technology analytical capability and a mobile command unit that can respond anywhere in the County and independently conduct operations in special and emergency circumstances.
Special capabilities, some of which are outlined, include but are not limited to:
- Criminal Investigations
- Dangerous Drugs and Criminal Investigation Expertise
- Detection and Patrol Police Service Dogs
- Mounted (Horse) Unit Capability
- Special Threat Response (SWAT and Crisis Negotiations Intervention)
- Traffic Crash Investigations
- Underwater Search and Recovery Response