Police Merger Would Eliminate 5 Positions, Save Villages Up to $800K, Officials Say
Details of the potential police-department consolidation by the villages of Hinsdale and Clarendon Hills were released Thursday night at a community information meeting in Hinsdale.
About one year after the public was first told the villages of Hinsdale and Clarendon Hills were exploring a police-department merger, officials from the two towns gave details on what a combined department would look like.
A Hinsdale-Clarendon Hills police department consolidation would save the villages a combined $700,000 to $800,00 by reducing the number of sworn officers in the two towns from 39 to 34, according to a presentation made by village officials last Thursday.
Only administrative positions would be eliminated, village officials said, so the 39-to-34 reduction is not expected to impact service levels in the two towns.
Between the two departments, one chief position, one deputy chief position, and three sergeant positions could be eliminated under a consolidated model. Village officials have said there will be no layoffs, and the desired staffing levels would be reached via attrition only.
Cauley said several senior-level administrative officers are approaching retirement.
“When those senior people retire, they will not replaced,” he said.
Village officials believe the reduction to 34 officers could be achieved by May 2014. No details on who would lead the consolidated department were included in the presentation.
Currently, the Hinsdale Police Department has between three and five officers on patrol at any given time; the Clarendon Hills Police Department has two to three. Because no patrol officer positions will be cut as a result of the consolidation, Hinsdale Police Chief Brad Bloom said there will still be at least five officers, and as many as seven, patrolling Hinsdale and Clarendon Hills at any time.
Under a consolidated model, patrol officers would likely take on the Hinsdale practice of 12-hour shifts from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., and 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. Between 4 p.m. and 2 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday, there would also one officer working a “power shift.”
While the village must wait on officers to retire, it is also going to take time for the two departments to create one set of policies and procedures dictating how the consolidated department would collect evidence, write arrest reports, and train new officers, among other things.
Bloom said because of that time-consuming process, it is a good idea to start the consolidation process now before the $700,000 to $800,000 becomes a vital need.
“If all of a sudden we’re facing a huge budgetary shortfall, we’re not going to have the adequate time necessary to standardize practices,” Bloom said.
Clarendon Hills Police Chief Ted Jenkins agreed.
“If this is an inevitable process, now’s the time to do it,” he said.
The village presidents (Cauley and Tom Karaba), village managers (Dave Cook and Randy Recklaus), and police chiefs (Bloom and Jenkins) of both Hinsdale and Clarendon Hills were all present and spoke at Thursday's meeting.
The villages are still working to get legislation through Springfield that would allow for the unprecedented consolidation. Hinsdale and Clarendon Hills also have to set up an intergovernmental agreement to set up governance and financial obligations, and set up a new board of police commissioners and a new police pension board.
For more on this topic, check back with Patch in the coming weeks and check out the villages' police consolidation webpage.
Read more about the potential Hinsdale-Clarendon Hills police department merger:
- Village Leaders Visit Springfield to Discuss Police Merger
- Hinsdale, Clarendon Hills Get $70,000 Grant for Police Merger
- PD Merger Only Part of Clarendon Hills' Fiscal Plan
- Potential Police Merger a 'Natural Fit' for Hinsdale
- Hinsdale, Clarendon Hills Considering Police Department Merger