Several years ago after moving back to Morris I made the comment I felt it was a little ridiculous in such a small county and city to have a sheriff’s department and a police department. The people agreed with me, but said the right time is when the police chief resigns or retires.
Well, that has now happened, and the Stevens County Commissioners seem to believe now is the time to fully consider the issue. However, it appears the city manager and city council are saying, “Whoa, back up, we have not considered it,” so let’s kick the can down the road.
When there is an accident or major event needing law enforcement, usually both departments show up. So why not combine them and save some money? Many departments in much larger cities, such as Jacksonville, FL., have one department, and there is the City and County of San Francisco with one department.
When I go into the courthouse here, I see two people seated in separate offices behind glass with the small grill in the glass, and above them Morris Police and the other, Stevens County sheriff. Both folks are anxious to help you, but I’ve never seen a line at either place, so why could not one person do both jobs and save money.
We’d also save money by not having duplication of the chief, the sheriff, and other ranking officers. And, yes, the officers are under different retirement plans, but, hey folks, if we try, I’m sure we can work that out. I know as a former police officer with the Los Angeles Police Department, we went from our own city retirement plan to that of the State of California and it was not a problem.
Let us think outside the box.