Ben Krompak has an idea whose time has come! Below is a copy of a release he has issued on the subject of improving police protection tghroughout Lucas County, Ohio.
Commissioner candidate pursues long-term solutions to prevent future lay-offs, increase patrols, and improve response times
Toledo, OH – Seeking long-term solutions to strengthen and improve police protection throughout Lucas County, Commissioner candidate Ben Krompak is urging local officials to explore merging the Toledo Police Department with the Lucas County Sheriff’s office and establishing a metropolitan police department. Krompak will discuss the idea at a press conference today, in front of One Government Center, at 2:30 P.M.
Explore Creating A Metropolitan Police Department
Today I am calling on Lucas County and City of Toledo officials to begin exploring the creation of a new metropolitan police department as well as other options for cooperative law enforcement.
Now is the time. County government’s financial challenges are being felt by the Sheriff’s office and the city of Toledo is contemplating mass police lay-offs for the second year in a row. We must work together to save money and improve safety.
Mergers of city and county police departments have previously been undertaken in communities such as Indianapolis, Indiana; Louisville, Kentucky; Las Vegas, Nevada; and Charlotte, North Carolina. We can learn from their experience as we chart our course forward.
Louisville Metro Police Chief Robert White has said that their merger led to increased patrols and faster response times. In Hamilton County, Ohio, an analysis by the Cincinnati Enquirer finds that merging local police departments with the County Sheriff could cut costs to communities currently served by their own departments by $30 per resident per year.
Establishing a metropolitan police department is one strategy for ending duplicative efforts, improving efficiency, and increasing the number of police on the street. Other approaches might involve establishing contractual agreements for one entity to deliver law enforcement services to others or sharing services by combining certain functional units within departments.
In addition to the city of Toledo, I believe that suburban communities with their own police departments as well as institutions like the University of Toledo would benefit from a new countywide approach to law enforcement. But this can only be achieved through voluntary efforts between communities that see clearly the benefits of working together.
While threats to public safety posed by police lay-offs make law enforcement a good place to start cooperative efforts, let’s not stop there. Let’s merge the county and city of Toledo prosecutor’s offices, information services, economic development, building inspection, and any other departments that duplicate efforts.
Skeptics say these things can’t be accomplished any time soon. But time is not on our side. If regional cooperation remains a topic for white papers and blue ribbon commissions for another decade then public safety and other essential services will suffer. Now is the time to make regionalism real.
Come to think of it, in my opinion, this same concept can be applied in several areas of local governmental services. Bottom line: It's an idea that fits perfectly into the concept of regional government. While I am aware that some of my peers do not favor regional government, I believe it is long overdue.