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Pro/Con: Should law enforcement agencies consolidate?

By Melissa Crowe
Aug. 4, 2013 at 3:04 a.m.


MODELS OF CONSOLIDATION

• Shared services: DWI and crime lab

• Cross deputation: Shared enforcement zones and overlapping jurisdictions

• Internal merger: City consolidates all public safety services in the city, and the county consolidates all public safety services in the county

• Local merger: Two separate agencies consolidate to form a new entity

• Regional merger: Multiple agencies in one region consolidate to serve a geographic area

• Metropolitan: Two or more agencies serving overlapping jurisdictions in a region consolidate to serve the whole area

• Governmental: City and county consolidate

SOURCE: Center for Governmental Research

$12.5 MILLION POLICE DEPARTMENT BUDGET

Personnel services: $10.4 million

Inter-fund charges: $739,243

Office supplies and other supplies: $541,046

Equipment maintenance:$250,056

Professional services: $180,000

SOURCE: City of Victoria

*Numbers listed are major expenses.

$13.7 MILLION SHERIFF'S OFFICE BUDGET

Personnel: $11.2 million

Fuel and supplies:$350,000

Vehicles and equipment: $345,000

Equipment and vehicle maintenance: $183,332

SOURCE: Victoria County

*Numbers listed are major expenses.

Partnerships between the city of Victoria and Victoria County provide emergency management, the health department, transportation, the library, fire services and economic development.

Because the goals of the police department and the sheriff's office are the same - to serve and protect - should the city of Victoria and Victoria County consolidate the two law enforcement agencies into one?

The two agencies already share the radio system, dispatch, training opportunities, grants and some investigative units.

While consolidating law enforcement has the potential for savings and increased efficiencies, combining two agencies or contracting out law enforcement services could turn into an organizational nightmare.

Pro: Joint police-sheriff's office could increase efficiency

Con: City officials hesitant about merger idea

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