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Merging 3 police forces into 1

Published: Sun, September 29, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

The western Trumbull County commmunities of Hubbard City, Hubbard Township and Brookfield Township have a golden opportunity to stand out collectively as a state trendsetter in government efficiency. It is an opportunity they should explore seriously.

Specifically, thanks to legislation recently adopted by the Ohio General Assembly, multiple communities with differing government formats now can consolidate public services — such as police protection — to save taxpayers dollars and to increase efficiency.

The Youngstown State University Center for Urban and Regional Studies recently performed a study on forming a joint police district for the three government entities. Representatives of each department are reviewing the results and are working on a report for release next month.

Fighting chance

We hope all involved give the proposal a fighting chance and do not cling to parochial and 19th-century models of public-service delivery. Tradition may be of nostalgic value, but too often, it comes with an exorbitant price tag.

Substituting one chief for three, consolidating administrations and using economies of scale for purchases wield many potential benefits for a joint police force and those it serves. Clearly, hurdles will get in the way of quickly moving forward — such as determining a funding mechanism, locations of police stations and consolidation of police staffing.

But those hurdles should not be allowed to obscure the positive dividends of consolidation or derail its strong chances of success.

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