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Police Merger a 'Dead Issue' in Kinnelon, Butler

New Kinnelon Police Chief John Schwartz said the merger was initially considered because the two chiefs were retiring.

The Kinnelon Police Department will not be merging with Butler or any other municipality’s police department, authorities said.

Chief John Schwartz said that there have been “no talks” with Butler regarding the possible move.

“This was a conversation that was had when the two chiefs announced their retirements in a very short period of time,” said Chief John Schwartz. “At this point, it’s a dead issue.”

Schwartz took over as chief in November. Butler Chief Edward Card will retire at the end of the year. Card did not return a message for comment.

Kinnelon Councilman Daniel O’Dougherty had said at a recent council meeting that merging the two departments is a “no-brainer.”

The Kinnelon Council’s Safety Committee discussed the move. Schwartz said he was never a part of a conversation that was had on the matter.

Councilman Gary Moleta, chairman of the Safety Committee, did not respond to a request for comment.

The two boroughs’ police departments have the same number of officers: 16. Kinnelon’s officers patrol a much larger area, about 20 miles, than Butler’s do, which is about two.

Schwartz said that while it would be “silly not to look at” merging the departments, it is something that requires a great deal of studying and time to complete properly.

“It’s really nothing that could have been accomplished that quickly,” Schwartz said.

s calla December 11, 2013 at 12:20 PM
everytime there is something going on at KinLon Mall oN Rt 23, there are almost always KIinnelon and Butler cops there at the same time. Do mthey breally need "baxck up"? also on 23 kinnelon cops on one side and butler on another..it is a no brainer to merge. It could save a bit of taxpYER MONBEY ALSO
The Gman December 11, 2013 at 01:55 PM
I pay 30k in Kinnelon property tax and just want to say this has nothing to do with who is retiring and everything to do with saving the tax payers money. Unfortunately (I have no issue with Schwartz), the only way this would possibly work was to hire a chief that both Kinnelon and Butler interviewed and jointly hired. But we do not have the courage to look at issues in a fair manner. If it was the Butler chief taking over, Kinnelon would not like the idea very much, I am sure.
John Scully December 15, 2013 at 04:34 PM
Towns that got rid of their Departments or merged never help out with property taxes. property taxes still went up in those towns and then placed the burden on the State Poice to Patrol. The tax payers then have to wait longer for Police response. I rather have no merger and have our own Police Department which will be more effective and better response time. Merging cause's more area to cover and if your having chest pains or a child is hurt I rather have a Police Officer come from Kinnelon Rd then Main St Bulter. Its proven no taxpayers taxes ever went down..always went up after these moves were made.
The Gman December 16, 2013 at 08:42 AM
John I respectfully disagree, do a goggle search of the following: "do mergers of town services reduce property taxes" Here is just one of many articles. http://www.northjersey.com/news/opinions/232453341_The_Record__Merger_stalled.html.......... This is one of the only states in the country with such redundant local governments. Hence high property taxes.
SNR December 25, 2013 at 11:13 PM
Gman, the article you cite is an "Opinion"... I disagree with that opinion... "...Proponents argue that the consolidation of police services will increase efficiency through a reduction of duplicate services, equipment and positions and increase effectiveness by eliminating political tampering, lessening the ability of criminal activity to move from one jurisdiction to another, increasing professionalism, and lowering turnover rates by providing more opportunities in the merged agency. Opponents of the consolidation of police services argue that local control is important to citizens and lower costs are not likely to result from consolidation. Differences between pay scales and issues involving longevity and union membership are identified as the most difficult to address during consolidations. If economies of scale exist, the average cost of producing police services decreases as the level of production increases. It is particularly difficult to measure the quantity of police services provided. Some measures of police services that have been used in the literature include the number of arrests and the inverse crime rate, both of which represent only a small portion of the activities that police officers perform. Studies testing for economies of scale in the production of police services use different measures of cost and services and different assumptions and statistical methods, so it is difficult to compare results or draw firm conclusions. The more recent literature in this area suggests that police services do not experience economies of scale as the level of production increases, so creating larger departments through the consolidation of police services would not lead to lower costs of provision..." THE EFFECTS OF CITY-COUNTY CONSOLIDATION: A REVIEW OF RECENT ACADEMIC LITERATURE http://www.ai.org/legislative/interim/committee/2005/committees/prelim/MCCC02.pdf

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