Consolidated Police Departments week 1 discussion 1 (Ke)
Your county sheriff has recently come out publicly in favor of consolidating all police agencies in your county. Having caught your new police chief off-guard, your police chief asks you – the agency’s director of research, planning, and analysis – to explain in a memorandum all that would be involved in creating and maintaining a single county-wide agency, to include advantages and disadvantages of doing so. Create a memorandum mainly stating the advantages and disadvantages of this consolidation for employees, the community, and the effectiveness of policing. At the end, you will need to make a recommendation to your police chief as to whether this is a good idea or not, and why, stating reasons from your memorandum. You should format your discussion as if you were writing an actual memo.
Need bad and good of post list reference
FROM: Kevin Bolles
DATE: June 22, 2015
SUBJECT: County Wide Agency Consolidation
IIn order to create and maintain a county wide agency requires a significant amount of work. Although a budget shortfall may seem like a legitimate reason for merging agencies it, in some cases, is a reason to avoid merging; “In fact, the merger was a budgetary disaster. Conrad estimated that consolidation cost about $85 million. New communication equipment cost nearly $70 million and allowances for new healthcare plans and other benefits ended up costing another $10 million. Hardly a windfall.” (Wolverton, 2012). Budget shortfalls are commonly used as the reasoning behind calling for a consolidation, “Those pushing for the consolidation of police forces into regional or metropolitan agencies typically cite budget shortfalls as the best reason for closing down local forces and combining resources to form a consolidated force.” (Wolverton, 2012). Now that doesn’t mean that agency consolidations always fail because they don’t, it all depends on what is best for your department and what is best for the community.
An advantage of consolidating is that the overall number of officers would increase allowing for more man power overall to achieve the necessary services required. A disadvantage is that even though you will have more officers you will still be under staffed because most county agencies are under staffed , “Often, in support of their plans for consolidation, politicians will point out that smalltown budgets prevent them from fully staffing a police department and from providing citizens with the services of specialty units like SWAT or K-9.”( Wolverton, 2012) ,and even combining them won’t create enough officers, “Conrad recalled that although the metro mayor touted “the synergy of merger: ten people here, ten people there, they could work more efficiently together,” the department actually ended up hiring “15 or 20 here, and 15 or 20 there.” (Wolverton, 2012). There is a slim chance that the county wide consolidation will work, one reason that it is being called for is because politicians will stand to gain more control over what the department does.
A good question that needs to be asked is “…. A more relevant question needs to be asked in response, however: How many of the crimes committed within the jurisdiction of a local police force require the participation of one of those specialized units? Very few.” (Wolverton, 2012). Because this consolidation will effect not just one agency but all who are involved in not a necessarily positive way this should be considered before agreeing, “…several local police forces combine resources long enough to train a select number of officers from each department to serve on a SWAT team or bomb squad who are deployed only when an extraordinary situation arises in one of the participating jurisdictions. This way, chiefs cede no power to politicians or bureaucrats, townspeople save money by not having to pay to staff and train their own specialized unit…..” (Wolverton, 2012).
Due to the fact that there are other options that would be more beneficial to the department as well as the counties involved a consolidation is not an appropriate action to be taken at this time. There are other ways that each agency can work together without being merged into one large agency and because of this I do not think that a county wide consolidation is a good idea at this time.
Joe Wolverton, II, J.D. (2012). Police Consolidation: The End of Local Law Enforcement? Retrieved from: http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/crime/item/12931-police-consolidation-the-end-of-local-law-enforcement