The DeWitt and Manlius police departments have formed a joint Accident Investigation Team, which they say will better protect neighbors in both communities and cut costs for each municipality.
The police forces are already similar in size and personnel. The communities are close in proximity, and according to DeWitt Police Chief Gene Conway, officers in each department deal with the same types of calls.
The departments also have similar equipment. Each department's desire to upgrade to the most current technology available really fueled discussions to share services
"It makes all the sense to share in the cost of that equipment since it's now becoming so expensive," said Conway. "What really drove this was that we were going to need updated laptops and we were going to need updated software. That really drove the discussion of, 'listen this is becoming really costly. Let's sit down and see if there's a way we can share the cost and share the use of the equipment,' and then taking it a step further by sharing the use of personnel," Conway said.
Under the agreement, when there is a serious or deadly crash in either Manlius or DeWitt, officers from both departments would respond.
This would keep either force from having to call in an off-duty officer to respond, and pay them overtime.
Officers will attend joint training to use the new accident investigation software which includes new laptop computers and a laser measuring device.
"It makes sense across the board as far as training goes, bringing together resources that are becoming more limited as we all know, in the economic climate that we have," said Manlius Police Captain Brian Ackerman.