I know local government gets criticized all the time for what is perceived as a lack of collaboration in the performance of our duties. In fact that isn’t correct. Actually today’s activities point out how wrong that is.
At about 3 pm we got a report of a serious traffic crash on I-75 southbound near the M-24 interchange. A driver left the roadway and struck a semi truck carrying cement road barricades. His injuries were severe. In addition to rendering aid to the victim, we are responsible to investigate the crash to determine what caused it. Investigations of this type are complex and require a high level of training. We participate in a cooperative team made up of officers from Troy and Bloomfield Twp – SOCCIT – Southeast Oakland county Crash Investigations Team. We were able to provide 2 investigators from our current shifts (no overtime), an on duty Troy officer who just happened to be a motor carrier officer with expertise in commercial carriers (an expertise we don’t have) and an officer from Bloomfield with crash investigation expertise. In the old days we would have had to provide all officers and investigators ourselves, some on overtime given that it happened late in the workday. Now we are able to get this crash investigated quickly and with a higher level of expertise than we could provide ourselves. It is an excellent team that has produced some excellent outcomes in all 3 communities at a very good cost. Not to mention that all 3 communities participate in Quick Clearance so they worked to get the most lanes open possible for rush hour traffic.
About an hour into the traffic crash we got a call of some WWII munitions found in a home. Old munitions can be very unstable, very dangerous and highly problematic. The supervisor on the scene called for the Michigan State Police bomb squad to come to the scene and take custody of the device. This is an aspect of policing that few departments can have. MSP, Detroit and Dearborn have their own units but the vast majority of us must depend on the MSP. Their bomb unit is called all over the SE Michigan area. Many of us (chiefs) have argued to the powers that be in Lansing or wherever that the MSP needs the resources to provide these types of services. It is what we really need and cannot provide for ourselves.
We work together to a greater extent then we have before. It is good business–good for the communities and good for their bottom line.