The Future of Police Consolidation

“As community reluctance to total city-county consolidation is likely to continue, less drastic methods of centralizing and coordinating key services among law enforcement agencies are recommended.”

Consolidation of police services is a continuing concern in American law enforcement. Spearheaded by the 1967 President’s Commission, numerous expert panels and study groups have recommended the consolidation of smaller agencies as a way to increase coordination among departments, limit unnecessary duplication and reduce per capita expense. Despite a few notable exceptions, consolidation proposals have been soundly defeated at the polls as few communities are willing to relinquish local autonomy and control. This paper discusses the prospects for further law enforcement consolidation and speculates on likely future trends.

Published in Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice | 1987