Inkster Police Department Seeks Union With Wayne County Sheriff
With only two dozen or so officers, the Inkster Police Department is attempting to bolster its patrols through a union with the Wayne County Sheriff. The City of Inkster is still rebuilding under a consent decree it entered into several years ago due to massive municipal debt.
"Inkster police officials want to pursue consolidating operations with the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, Wayne County Commissioner Ilona Varga said Wednesday.
Inkster Police Chief Hilton Napoleon went to the Wayne County Commission’s Public Safety Committee on Wednesday seeking a letter of intent that would allow him to continue a feasibility study before going to the state with the idea. Napoleon is the brother of Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon.
Hilton Napoleon was unavailable for comment Wednesday afternoon. A call to Sheriff Napoleon’s spokeswoman Paula Bridges was not returned Wednesday.
[']It would be very interesting to see what they come up with,['] said Varga, D-Lincoln Park. [']We’re not sure how that’s going to go, and we have a lot of work yet to do.[']
The city also is applying for a state grant of nearly $500,000 to pay for the department to transition operations, including radio systems, cars and uniforms.
The situation could be a win for the sheriff’s office, which has been battling with the county over hiring additional officers, saying the jail is severely understaffed and that contributes to millions of unbudgeted overtime each year. In a consolidation, several or all of Inkster’s personnel could be hired by the sheriff’s office.
The city of about 25,000 currently is under a financial consent decree with the state. The police department employs about two dozen officers, down from about 60 in 2011.
In a Free Press article last fall, Hilton Napoleon said some officers lack integrity and lie, particularly when it comes to what he describes as attempts to smear him.
[']They aren’t qualified to be police officers, some of them,['] Hilton Napoleon said. [']They shouldn’t be wearing the badge, some of them, and they want to tell me how to run the police department, but that’s not going to happen.[']
Though a consolidation of services with the county would be unique, the City of Highland Park hired the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office to patrol the city for three years, ending the contract in 2007."