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Police consolidation and shared services talks begin between Glenville and Scotia

Future budgetary constraints may result in the Town of Glenville and the Village of Scotia to consolidating their police departments, something that has been discussed in the past.

While merging the town and village police forces isn't a new topic, efforts to evaluate options are becoming focused as a work group that was created for such a purpose met for the first time on Monday, Feb 21.

The group is made up of Scotia Mayor Kris Kastberg, Glenville Supervisor Christopher Koetzle, Scotia Police Chief Thomas Rush, Glenville Chief Michael Ranalli, incoming Glenville Councilman John Pytlovany and another representative from the village.

I believe that everyone is interested in doing what makes the most sense for the town and the village, said Koetzle. "Criteria that I apply to all consolidation proposals is two standards: It has to enhance services and it has to reduce taxpayer dollars. I believe there is an opportunity for both of those to be achieved."

At the moment, Koetzle said, all options are on the table, and he is under the impression that the town is interested in finding a "smart solution" to the issue, whether the answer involves consolidation or some sort of shared services agreement.

"There are not a lot of details right now," said Koetzle. "Our chief is doing a lot of work looking into the preliminary issues. I simply have to wait and see what model everyone is comfortable with first."

Ranalli said that Kastberg a while back had expressed an interest in exploring the possibility of a consolidated police department. Ranalli said he believes a consolidated police force is a good direction to move toward, but the village will ultimately decide if it is feasible.

"The two parts would be stronger as a whole, and we would be able to offer more expertise in certain areas and be able to offer enhanced services to the village and town as well," said Ranalli "I think it would be a great idea, and I think it would be benefit the citizens of the town and the village."

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