To evaluate the effectiveness of millage-funded programs, the WCSO contracts with independent research organizations that assess project goals, processes, and outcomes. The aim of exploring millage impact is to (1) inform tax payers about the use of millage funds and the operational effectiveness of such investments, and (2) understand what’s working—and what’s not—to inform programmatic improvements.
In January of 2024, the WCSO released a five year millage investment report, highlighting millage-funded initiatives and accomplishments from January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2023. The report highlights four different investment areas including: community-based services, jail-based services, public safety technology, and municipal safety.
In 2022, the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office and Washtenaw County Community Mental Health agency launched a Co-Response Unit pilot in Ypsilanti Township. CRU involves the dispatching of a social worker and deputy sheriff to respond as a team to calls for service.. Currently, an evaluation of the program is being conducted by the University of Chicago Health Lab. The first year report shares data including the number of times the car was dispatched, the reason for dispatch, and more.
In 2021, the WCSO began a Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion and Deflection initiative pilot in Ypsilanti Township. An ongoing three-year evaluation of the initiative is being conducted by the Center for Health and Research Transformation (CHRT) at the University of Michigan. The first year report sheds light on the process and outcomes including number of referrals into the program, number of active participants, staff perspectives, and opportunities for improvement. Read the report.
In 2018, the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office and Washtenaw County Community Mental Health agency released a public safety report, describing public safety advancements and plans for millage funding, which became publicly available on January 1, 2019. The report outlines the purpose of the collaborative diversion council and plans for millage investments, including training programs, expanded re-entry support, and expanded mental health treatment in the jail. Read the report.