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County Police Consolidation Hitting Wall?

Report says plan approval is unlikely, as support seems to be hard to come by.

With a month left for the 21 municipalities in Somerset County to weigh in with their thoughts on , it appears as though the support may not be there in the end to make it happen.

Officials in two of the towns reportedly have already said the plan to fold 19 departments into one isn't for them. Both Bedminster and Peapack-Gladstone have decided to turn away from the proposal.

A feasibility study released in April showed that . Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli (R- 16th District) said that number may be a "conservative" figure. Ciattarelli sparked the consolidation study during his term as freeholder. The savings could range up to $100 million over the next decade, he said.

The pair of municipalities mentioned above aren't the only detractors from the proposed consolidation.

last month, saying the $94 per year savings to residents by 2023 calculated by Watchung CFO Bill Hance wasn't enough to make it worth it. , and .

However, there is at least one municipality reportedly on board. Bound Brook Mayor Carey Pilatois has said there is support for the plan, hoping to see it climb the decision-making ladder.

So what do you think? Do you believe the ends will not justify the means when it comes to consolidation? Or do you think the plan is one the county should implement? Vote in our poll below.

Bill July 03, 2012 at 06:24 PM
warren res 1, Are you kidding me? The AVERAGE Bridgewater resident pay .77 cents a day for police and dispacthers! Where is the savings when you make it a county force?
Bill July 03, 2012 at 06:26 PM
Kelly, Thats why i said the AVERAGE resident. Some pay nothing.....some pay $30k a year in property taxes.
Kelly July 03, 2012 at 06:57 PM
Bill, How did you figure out how much goes to police? My tax bill does not have a line item for that.
Bill July 03, 2012 at 08:06 PM
It was done during a audit. You could probably OPRA request it.
Tricia July 03, 2012 at 10:24 PM
As usual fear will overcome actual benefits to the public. A joined force will mean more officers in the community as management tasks are combined freeing officers to be driving and walking the communities. Getting back to towns being able to afford the extra officer in the High Schools is something I want to see again, a big benefit to reducing teen issues like drugs, crime, and suicides. Joint force would mean better coverage for all because the resources will be in place to get the closest officer to you in an emergency, independent of municipal boundaries. It is the 21st century where GPS location can be utilized efficiently and effectively. This is a wonderful idea for many reasons aside from cost savings.

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