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Monday, March 22, 2010

Ben Krompak, Lucas County Commissioner candidate, and Police Proposal

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.


Hooda Thunkit (Dave Zawodny) said...

Sorry to disagree with you on this one amigo, but the effort is doomed to fail.

1. It is logical

2. It makes sense

3. It would certainly save money

However, it would do away with way to many tin gods and their little fiefdoms...

So, we can have none of that ;-)

Besides, Mayor Mike Bell has long been accused of wanting to become Lucas County's first Fire CHief, and that would preclude anything like this happening in the next 4-6 years.

I've always seen personally promoted the advantages of combining the municipal operations of the various villages, cities and other various municipalities, but the hardest nut to crack was getting the associated management members to make nice and play together. . .

The devil isn't in the details so much as it is the blending/combining of the managers. . .

Further, the managers always fall back on the old threat that Toledo would benefit the most, thereby making all of the other entities subsidize Toledo, much to their disadvantage.

(Excuse me if I misunderstood the scope of your proposal; merging just the law enforcement activities, I'm assuming, is just the first step in streamlining ALL of Lucas County's operations for the maximum benefit of ALL of the County's citizenry/taxpayers.)

As a matter of fact, I proposed a detailed approach to doing this very thing a year or so, under the name/topic of (shudder) Unigov...

Perhaps I shall look the posts up, dust them off and re-post them.

Now that you've mentioned it, the time may now be more appropriate, what with so many political entities facing the same budgetary challenges.


Chili Dog said...

I unfortunately agree with Dave. Because it's a good idea that makes sense and is fiscally responsible, it will not happen here.

Man, do I hate being a pessimist all the time.