Consolidating Municipalities and police services

Due to financial constraints in majority of municipalities within many nations, the sources of revenue have been reduced to only a few. For instance, in Pennsylvania, taxation limits have been set by the state. This has led to the communities to depend solely on one form of revenue generation. This burden can be reduced by merging of municipalities or several departments of the police (Krimmel, 1997).

The merging of different police units has several advantages compared to having several smaller units. Every jurisdiction strives to save on the taxes collected. Through consolidation of the services, this objective is achieved. It also leads to a better service delivery since the efforts of each smaller unit are brought together and magnified as one. This minimizes doing the same thing over and over in these departments. Secondly, resources are made available to all the departments where they were not previously found, for example, laboratories and data systems. Thirdly, it helps in the moulding of experienced personnels who have acquired proper training. Consolidation leads to increased and new opportunities within the unit. Lastly, the police unit will be efficient in service delivery without compromising on quality.

Despite the advantages, consolidation may still not be adopted by a municipality due to several reasons. The police-community bond may be so strong, unique and of great value to the communities. Many members of the community would not wish this bond to be interfered with. They would prefer supervising the police directly or indirectly without emphasis on the quality of service provision.

Most people believe that a policeman should provide other services apart from putting people in custody. Many citizens in many nations would live in fear since they mistrust a government which is considered big. Moreover, the rate of taxation may increase to a greater level and this may be attributed to monopolization by the politicians. On the other hand, the police force may feel threatened. Most of their bosses normally have a full charge of their departments and they would never wish to let go of this. The fear to lose their jobs, at what age they would retire and their benefits after retirements is their greatest nightmare. Consolidation also leads to lack of accountability and discretion within the police departments. Due to difference in opinions between one unit and another, conflicts may erupt. This is due to the fact that some units may feel more superior to others. This will lead to weakening of relationship in these departments. Moreover, most officers will feel left out in the day to day affairs especially making decisions. This will kill their morale to work and reduce efficiency of service delivery. It has been argued that the level of savings experienced will not be felt since it will be minimal. This is due to the fact that reduction of the number of workers will only be made at a lower level and this will not reflect savings (Krimmel, 1997).

The municipality will be managed by a representative who will be part of directors board of the police as a member. He or She will be well informed on what is happening in other municipalities and the municipality he or she is representing. This will ensure that their interests are catered for even as He or She compares with the other units (Krimmel, 1997).

As a result of consolidation, problems might arise. This may be due to education level of different individuals. The difference in salaries in different units and seniority may also lead to rifts which may weaken the working relationship in the departments.

The recruitment of individuals will be done on a yearly basis and reappointment will be based on performance. This implies that only the hardworking and committed people are given the job a second time. This ensures provision of quality and efficient services. It also enhances accountability on the part of the individual since at the end of the defined period each   department can be accounted for by the person in charge. This leads to enhanced performance due to the fact that everyone will put a lot of effort to ensure that their contracts are renewed (Krimmel, 1997).

There is need for an exam upon merging to ensure that all the departments are at the same level. This should be applied to all agencies that are seen to be lacking the necessary information and skills. It should be done without any bias or favors. This will enhance competence in the merged unit, effective and efficient service delivery. However, in cases where the various departments seem to be equipped enough to carry their functions without difficulty, examination should not be mandatory.

Evaluation of the different departments merged should be done to ensure efficient delivery of services, unbiasness, proper accountability and financial effectiveness. The feedback from the citizens on their satisfaction with the services offered and quality of the services will be of great help in achieving this. Any kind of favorism should be taken seriously and action taken on the people involved in such. Financial assessment should be done on all departments on a regular basis to ensure accountability. This can be done on a yearly basis or upon an agreed period.


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