Consolidation Caveats

Many articles celebrate successful efforts at merging or consolidating police services. Not all such efforts result in a successful complete merger of departments, however, and it is important to examine the barriers—real and manufactured—that may stand in the way of police consolidation initiatives. Toward that end, what follows is a compendium of circumstances that can damage a potential merger. These lessons, although sometimes painful, serve as guideposts for those who are directed or encouraged to explore the issue. What follows is not meant to dissuade entities from merging, but rather is meant to encourage thoughtful consideration of the issues involved.