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Author: Colovion Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 749151  
Subject: Re: Detroit circles the financial drain Date: 12/3/2012 12:21 PM
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In some states counties and cities don't share any jurisdiction, in other words cities are entirely outside of counties. Michigan is different in that every square inch of land is covered by counties. Cities can fall into one or more counties (Milan is bisected by the Washtenaw/Monroe county line while Northville is bisected by the Wayne/Oakland county line for example) but they always fall into the jurisdiction of a county (or two) in Michigan. Ann Arbor is the county seat of Washtenaw County, all of the land in Ann Arbor is part of Washtenaw County (same with Ypsilanti, Chelsea, Manchester, Dexter, Saline, half of Milan, etc.). Each county is cut into a square grid of townships, any areas not incorporated into cities are part of the townships. Ann Arbor, for example, sits on top of several townships (Pittsfield, Superior, Scio, Ann Arbor Twp., etc.) In fact there are several "islands" within the borders of Ann Arbor that aren't incorporated into the city and are still technically part of the underlying townships.

If a city in Michigan were to dissolve it would simply revert back into the township(s) that comprise it. Generally townships have minimal governments, often they leave police duties to the county sheriff (Deputies have jursidiction all over the county, including in the cities though they don't generally patrol there as the cities have their own police forces and thus don't pay the sheriffs dept. extra for patrol coverage like townships or smaller cities do). If a city dissolves then their police departments are disbanded and those areas revert to the responsibility of the county sheriffs.

Back during a crime analysis training I had the class had to explain all of this to the instructor, who was from a department in Virginia (Newport News) and didn't understand how our cities were part of our counties since, apparently, in Virginia cities are outside of counties. Some of our cities pre-date counties but mostly they came about after Michigan was surveyed and divided into 81 counties (each county into 100-mile-square townships, etc.), and for those that existed prior to the surveys they simply fell into the grid wherever they fit.

The baseline for all of this surveying in Michigan was 8 Mile Rd. (the one the infamous Eminem film is named after) so it's also called Baseline Rd. Cities have even been known to change counties for various reasons, but they always fall within a county (or, again, more than one) in Michigan. They have to the way our legal system is set up... when you're arrested you go to the county jail in the county you're arrested in, so anyone arrested for jailable crimes in the various cities I listed above (and/or any of the cities and townships I didn't list that are in the county) would go to the Washtenaw County Jail to be lodged. In Detroit you go to the Wayne County Jail.
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