Pros consolidating police agencies

introduced the compelling observation that police consolidation could have the potential to improve homeland security, an area of critical importance in the current environment for police first responders.

Regrettably however, although their intriguing observation about homeland security appears to have been an original insight, their latter findings were not new.Although supportive of the conclusions of previous studies, the findings do not reflect a significant movement toward police consolidation in the United States, about which an almost century-long discussion has been co-opted and dominated by the status quo orientation that has come to typify local politics.Indeed, it has now been more than 80 years since the 1931 Wickersham Commission documented and encouraged the pursuit of improvements in police effectiveness that were posited to result from the consolidation of police services.And it has been more than 35 years since Harry Pachon and Nicholas Lovrich published the results of their extensive examination of police consolidations nation-wide in Public Administration Review in 1977.It is useful to understand that there are four types of consolidation with different characteristics.

It is also helpful to examine the history of consolidation so that we can learn important lessons from mistakes made in the past.Part of the reason it happens so infrequently is the cost.But outright resistance to change, especially among firefighters, is another huge barrier, says Leonard Matarese, director of research and public safety programs at the International City/County Management Association.Before Jersey City, Bay City, Mich., went a step further and merged both police and fire departments from top to bottom, cross-training police officers in police and some firefighter duties; 10 firefighters were laid off.The merger is expected to save the city

It is also helpful to examine the history of consolidation so that we can learn important lessons from mistakes made in the past.Part of the reason it happens so infrequently is the cost.But outright resistance to change, especially among firefighters, is another huge barrier, says Leonard Matarese, director of research and public safety programs at the International City/County Management Association.Before Jersey City, Bay City, Mich., went a step further and merged both police and fire departments from top to bottom, cross-training police officers in police and some firefighter duties; 10 firefighters were laid off.The merger is expected to save the city $1.8 million by 2017.Three other major cities in Michigan -- Grand Rapids, Kentwood and Wyoming -- are considering the formation of a metropolitan public safety agency that would consolidate police and fire operations, cutting costs by $17 million per year.

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It is also helpful to examine the history of consolidation so that we can learn important lessons from mistakes made in the past.

Part of the reason it happens so infrequently is the cost.

But outright resistance to change, especially among firefighters, is another huge barrier, says Leonard Matarese, director of research and public safety programs at the International City/County Management Association.

Before Jersey City, Bay City, Mich., went a step further and merged both police and fire departments from top to bottom, cross-training police officers in police and some firefighter duties; 10 firefighters were laid off.

The merger is expected to save the city $1.8 million by 2017.

Three other major cities in Michigan -- Grand Rapids, Kentwood and Wyoming -- are considering the formation of a metropolitan public safety agency that would consolidate police and fire operations, cutting costs by $17 million per year.

.8 million by 2017.Three other major cities in Michigan -- Grand Rapids, Kentwood and Wyoming -- are considering the formation of a metropolitan public safety agency that would consolidate police and fire operations, cutting costs by million per year.