Putnam Township officials have put their police contract out to bid.

At Wednesday night’s regular meeting, the Putnam Township Board of Trustees had on their agenda the possible approval of a new 3-year contract with the Livingston County Sheriff’s Department. During the public comment portion beforehand, however, Pinckney Village Council President Linda Lavey asked the Board to consider letting the Village police force bid on the contract. Sheriff Mike Murphy later presented his department’s contract for approval. Under it, the first year of service would be for $98,530, which is 5.67% down from the current year. It would then raise by about 3.5% each of the next 2, meaning next year’s total is still less than this year’s.

With nearly a third of the township’s population living in the Village, nearly all board members spoke about owing it to those residents to give the Village police department the opportunity to make a bid. All seemed satisfied with the level of service they have received from the both the Sheriff’s Department, currently, and Pinkney Police Department when they had the contract in the past.

In discussion, some were concerned, ethically, about the Pinckney force knowing the Sheriff’s Department’s bid. Murphy said his numbers were his numbers and they wouldn’t change. Putnam Township Supervisor Dennis Brennan said what they will really be looking at is a service issue anyway. Currently the township gets 40 hours of service a week from the Sheriff’s Department, and also has access to all their services, like detectives and SWAT, that the smaller Pinckney force doesn’t have. Brennan said he was very satisfied with the response times he’s seen with regards to Putnam residents. The contract wasn’t put out to bid originally because the Township wasn’t under obligation to do so if they felt the current contract holder was giving them a fair price, which the Supervisor said he believed they did. The Board still felt that with enough time left on the existing contract, it couldn’t hurt to see what the Pinckney Police Department could offer.

Murphy said he is not taking the Village’s request personally, stating it’s not an “us versus them” thing. He said that all of the police agencies in the county have an extremely good relationship with one another, and that he doesn’t blame Putnam officials for doing their due diligence. The Board voted unanimously to give the Pinckney Police Department an opportunity to submit a bid for the contract, and will vote on it next month. The current police contract ends June 30th. (MK)