Skepticism lingers over proposed consolidation of police and fire depts
Caroline MacGregor July 25, 2013 | WGVU The cities
of Wyoming, Kentwood and Grand Rapids continue to assess the pros and cons of regional
police and fire services.
proposed by the International City/County Manager’s Association (ICMA) regarding
the feasibility of consolidating police and fire departments into one
standalone police department and one standalone fire department have been analyzed by all three townships.
George Heartwell remains hopeful the community will end up combining some services, vocal opposition has been heard from
several officials. One of those officials includes Kentwood City Commissioner Sharon Brinks
- who has publicly opposed any consolidation effort.
"This was the second part of a two part report and many of the suggestions in the first part of the report in Kentwood we received and we thought, hmm, there's many good ideas there and we got our money's worth out of that but consolidation? No.”
combining departments will reduce response times and says the original ICMA
report has major analytical flaws.
“Nothing is going to happen rapidly. The practical and legal impediments are staggering and you have to begin with the fact that there are wage, salary and benefit structures that are dramatically different between the three cities.”
Manager, Curtis Holt, says the plan needs much closer examination to assess potential savings or improvements
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