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To protect and save

Rush noted there have been studies done during his 33-year tenure with the department, and he agrees the issue of consolidation needs to be addressed. At one point, he said, it seemed consolidation was moving forward, but the effort fizzled out.

Rush became chief after Pytlovany stepped down in February of last year.

"This has been around since I started combining the two departments," said Rush. "The last thing you want to do is to take away services."

Village residents have become used to the level of police presence currently offered, which he said is higher than other municipalities. He noted the size of the village is about 2 square miles and, he said, there are at least two officers on patrol, and at the most there are three to four.

"Right now, I would venture to say that per capita, the Village of Scotia is covered a lot better than other jurisdictions," said Rush. "I know that the people would probably want a certain amount of coverage, whether or not that could be accomplished fiscally is something that needs to be looked into further."

Reaching a "happy medium" of maintaining services while not raising the burden on taxpayers is something, Rush said, he isn't sure can be accomplished. Although he doesn't want to just put a "band aid" on the situation and have to revisit talks of consolidation again. If one police department is formed, he said he hopes to move as many officers and employees over so there are no layoffs.

Rush said he doesn't believe there has been any wasteful spending within the department.

"You try to stay within your budget, which we have, but when you are a small department the officers wear many hats, and there are times there is an increase in overtime," said Rush.

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