The consolidation of Northshore Police Departments is an old issue, that comes up occassionally.
There is already a Northshore Fire Department,.
All of the Northshore Police Departments belong to a consolidated dispatch system (except for Brown Deer which is on the verge of joining) --- and we have mutual assistance in which the police departments back each other up on major occurences.
Yet all the departments are constrained in the number of actual cops on the street, due to budget limitations.
Yet when looking at all the Northshore Suburbs, with a total population in the 65,000 range, we have a duplication of services that would handle a population of many times that size --- we have 6 police buildings, 6 chiefs, 6 trainers, 6 civilian support staffs, etc, etc.
Common sense would tell us that if the departments were consolidated, we would have more money for actual cops on the street. The combined force could have a flexible task force that is assigned to specific needs, such as the rash of burglaries, or keeping a watch on a known drug house, etc.
The financial strain of operating all these departments, make for some very hard decisions being made.
For instance --- do you have a 24 hour 7 day a week police station? In Shorewood, the station is manned at all times. But in Whitefish Bay, the close for the night !!!
It is time to stop talking about the little "baby" steps, such as consolidated dispatch, and time to talk about the "big" picture -- and how best to spend our tax money for the most efficient and safe police services.
In speaking with various Police Officials from the Northshore Suburbs --- it appears that they know consolidation is worth discussing. The problem with even having an open discussion about consolidation, lies with the elected officials and village managers, who are more interested in protecting their turfs, than their citizens.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?