Winters and Mike Radzik, the township's police services administrator, say the township still came out ahead. "We didn't prevail in court, but a lot of good came out of the lawsuit--and not just for Ypsilanti Township but for all twelve jurisdictions served by the sheriff's department," says Radzik. "We spent money to get there, but the money we saved now and into the future far exceeds it."
That's because in court "the county had to produce real numbers to back their [cost] claims," says Winters. "Look at what we're paying today versus what we would have paid had the county gotten its way. The difference is over $10 million." If not for the litigation, he figures, the county would have more than doubled the township's cost per deputy, from $105,863 per year in 2008 to $240,880 in 2009.
"I can't imagine what he's talking about," responds Leah Gunn. "It sounds like he's saying that price increase to cover the full costs would have happened, and it never happened and it never would have happened." The $240,880 figure was calculated back in 2003 by including both direct policing costs and a share of the county's overhead. But that's not what the county billed the governments that didn't sue. They paid a base price per deputy of $141,963 in 2009, and $144,803 in 2010.