Dispatch Headlines Latest Consolidation Update

In our latest consolidation report, we track developments from Ypsilanti to Ireland. Yes, we said Ireland. Details inside.

What Happened

In our latest consolidation report, we track developments from Ypsilanti to Ireland. Yes, we said Ireland. Details inside.

Departments in Morristown, New Jersey

The town of Morristown, New Jersey, recently created a Department of Code Enforcement, which will absorb and encompass numerous departments, including human services, building and construction, and zoning. According to reports, the decision came at the recommendation of Jersey Professional Management, which advocated a centralized approach to permits and code enforcement. A director will be hired to oversee the new department, though Morristown’s mayor told the local media that town employees are down to 172 from 214, and more than $7 million has been saved since 2010.

Police Dispatch in Nevada County

Three major cities in Nevada County, California have agreed to consolidate their emergency dispatch services, saving tens of thousands of dollars per year. The three entities—Nevada City, Grass Valley, and Truckee—will utilize the dispatch services of the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office. According to reports, Grass Valley and Truckee will completely close their dispatch centers, saving $163,00 and $185,000 per year, respectively. Nevada City’s savings will be more limited, as it already contracts with the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office; no logistical changes will happen there, but savings should exceed $20,000 per year.

Fire, Police in Ypsilanti, Michigan

To combat rising costs, the city of Ypsilanti, Michigan, is considering merging its police and fire departments into a single “public safety” department. According to reports, the proposal would cut both police officers and firefighters, cross-training many of the remaining employees so they could more efficiently service the city in a more flexible manner. The police chief, Amy Walker, said that several communities have pursued similar strategies, noting that Kalamazoo, Michigan, has more than 300 cross-trained public officers.

Local Government in Ireland

The consolidation trend is not limited to the United States. A major proposal being considered in Ireland would look to save millions by consolidating local government across the country. The plan would cut in half the number of local “councils,” and would reduce elected councilors in the country by more than 40 percent. According to reports, the country, which has been hit hard by the global financial crisis, could save €150 million in the next 18 months, and would merge dozens of councils into “municipal districts.” Some are arguing the plan doesn’t go far enough; a recent editorial argued that, “We can no longer afford 31 separate local authorities, with the attendant costs duplication and inefficiencies, as is now proposed by Government.”