Contracting with a lower cost department can make sense and avoids the stupidity of the Urban Cooperation Act's forcing the highest wages and benefits that occurs with consolidation of municipalities (and thus discouraging the very "cooperation" the name of the Act implies).
Municipalities stuck with excessively high costs imposed by arbritrators under PA 312 should definitely look at this alternative. The Center for Michigan » SPECIAL REPORT: Combining cop shops can save big bucks
An amendment to PA 312 without requiring the arbitrator to take into consideration the municipality's ability to pay is truly "hollow". A chance to control costs has been lost, but we will need to come back to this. Michigan Senate Bill 1072 Will Change Public Act 312, but May Have Little Effect [Mackinac Center]
As much as we love and respect our public safety employees (police and firefighters), PA 312 needs to be more balanced, to reflect the community's ability to pay. The Center for Michigan » Cities push hard on Act 312 and cost controls
These proposals make sense to control costs of corrections, without being "soft on crime". We also need to look further at the levels of wages and benefits of prison workers and privatizing support services to minimize costs. The Center for Michigan » Three things every citizen should know about state prisons
See also: Repeal PA 312 to Eliminate Binding Arbitration for Police and Firefighters? and
Michigan Laws that Impede Greater Efficiency through Collaboration
I welcome your comments. Cheers!