Andrew George continues killing it on police regionalization. Here is a new article where he looks at examples of regional policing in the LV and New Jersey. Basically, everybody with experience being part of a regional police department has good things to say about it, but there are a few instances of parochial skirmishes:
Communities who form regional police forces can wind up with better trained officers at a lower cost — if they can sacrifice local control and work well with their neighbors.
That’s the sentiment from two community leaders connected with local regional police forces.
Five Slate Belt municipalities are evaluating whether to regionalize by combining the police departments of Bangor, Pen Argyl, Wind Gap, Washington Township and Plainfield Township. Support for the plan is brewing among local officials.
Stroudsburg is a member of the Stroud Area Regional Police Department with East Stroudsburg and Stroud Township.
Stroudsburg mayor Charles Baughman said regional police forces add a layer of governance through police commissioners, and municipalities’ individual identities may get lost. However, those losses are offset by increased manpower, superior training and better available resources.
Funding questions need to be answered before a force is formed, he said.
This is why I think a County-level force is best. When you try to do it with a handful of municipalities, somebody’s inevitably going to end up paying a little more, or worry if they’ll get the same coverage. Hanover Twp says this isn’t an issue in reality, but some dudes are inevitably going to act like babies about which municipal chief gets to be The Big Chief, who gets to have the Most Special Department Headquarters, etc.
With a County force, there’d just be so many municipalities covered that these territorial skirmishes would never really rise to the level of actually threatening the existence of the regional department. It would get sorted out through representative politics on the County board. The political bond wouldn’t be as fragile.