DeWitt Beginning this month, the Manlius and DeWitt Police will be sharing equipment and personnel when dealing with fatal car accidents.
After about four months of negotiations and working out logistics, Manlius Police Chief Francis Marlowe and DeWitt Police Chief Gene Conway announced last week that their agencies will be working together to provide the best possible accident investigation services while sharing equipment and personnel in order to cut costs.
“The ultimate goal is not only cost savings, but continued proficiency in being able to investigate serious or fatal car accidents,” Conway said. “We want to maintain the level of expertise we have in doing it, and at the same time, hopefully decrease costs.”
An accident investigation team is made up of two or three officers who have had advanced training to know how to use the special equipment necessary to investigate the cause of a fatal or serious car accident. Because there aren’t many police officers who have this special training (Conway said there are seven in the DeWitt department now), many times, there aren’t enough officers working on the same shift together and an additional officer must be called in to work overtime hours to assist with the investigation.
“Now, instead of having to call in an extra officer to work overtime hours, I can call over to Manlius and if they have someone working, they will come over here and help out, which minimizes overtime costs,” Conway said.
Both departments are also saving money on the equipment and software needed to perform the investigations, which would cost each agency about $6,000 to upgrade. Conway said both agencies already had similar teams and were both ready to upgrade their equipment at the same time when they realized that the departments could split the cost by sharing that equipment in addition to personnel.