Addressing Concerns and Questions about Consolidating WFB and SHWD Police Departments

WFB, SHWD, Combined Police Forces, Savings, Duplication of Overhead

It was apparent from responses and comments to my previous posting on a combined police force, that some folks in Shorewood and Whitefish Bay feel that there could be a loss of service for their community if the police departments were combined into one force.

In talking to Whitefish Bay officials, the former WFB Village Manager was insistent that WFB resources would be lost in part to greater crime needs in Shorewood.   Was he correct, or did he just want to protect his turf.

Does Shorewood have more crime?  And if so, what kinds of crime? 

In researching what information is available, I have found that WFB and SHWD are basically about the same in policing needs.  Only a thorough audit would verify this, as there can be some differences in how an officer handles a given situation.  While one officer may write a ticket, another officer may just give a warning and make a contact report. 

Even if there is a some discrepancy in the amount of crime, both WFB and SHWD already work together in "mutual assistance".  Squads from WFB respond at times to SHWD to assist, and SHWD squads are dispatched to WFB to assist.

The way the system in both villages works now, there are set squad areas and squads/officers are assigned to them.  Officers get to know the individual needs and concerns of the various squad areas.

In a combined force, officers will again have squad areas and will get to know the 25,000 residents, just like they now know the 13,000 in each community.  The ordinances and village philosophies in WFB and SHWD are already very similar, so there will be no disconnect with differing systems.

Right now the duplication of services is staggering, extra squads, cameras, cells, interrogation rooms, one set of clerks and not two ---  and SUPERVISORS.

Can’t one supervisor  keep an eye on 6 officers instead of two supervisors watching 3 each? 

These are the Big Savings -- in addition, of course, to the savings of maintaing, heating and cooling one police building and not two. 


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