As reported by nj.com, the Democratic-controlled Board of Chosen Freeholders in Bergen County is scheduled to take a final vote Wednesday on an ordinance that makes the 88-member County Police Department a division of the Sheriff’s Office.
Four Democrats and two Republicans will likely vote to approve the merger. County Executive Kathleen Donovan has indicated that she will veto the ordinance. Because the Freeholders have enough votes to override her veto, Donovan will probably take the issue to court.
Democrats say the measure would save between $90 million and $200 million over 25 years and not result in any layoffs. But Republican Maura DeNicola, the lone Freeholder opposed to the merger, said the plan would eventually reduce manpower, even without layoffs.
The debate over whether the departments should consolidate has simmered for more than a decade. Last year, the then-Republican-controlled Board put forth a similar merger proposal, but it failed.