As reported in NJ.com on July 22, 2013, the Bergen County Prosecutors Office refused to reimburse the towns of Park Ridge, Montvale and Woodcliff Lake, for the cost of a police consolidation study which the Borough of Montvale rejected.
The study, which cost $49,000.00, stated that the three boroughs would save $1 million dollars by merging their police departments. The report was conducted by the Matrix Consulting Group of Mountain View, California, and published on June 3, 2013. The study further stated that the vast majority of savings that the towns would recognize from a combined police department would come from reducing the number of employees through attrition, and consolidation of the higher ranking administrative officers. The greatest savings would come from the elimination of management positions.
Despite the findings of the report, the Police Chiefs from all three departments stated that the recommendations were untenable and unrealistic. Basically, the Police Chiefs stated that the reduced manpower would cause slower response times and would endanger resident’s safety. This study and the notion of combining police departments demonstrates the trend that is ongoing within the State of New Jersey regarding consolidation of services amongst first responders and emergency personnel. While saving may be recognized on paper, the cuts that are often proposed are unrealistic and cause significant safety concerns for towns. As more consolidation efforts become apparent we will keep you informed of the same.