City turns down police, sheriff merger

2013-06-27T02:30:00Z City turns down police, sheriff mergerBy JOHN RASCHE -— jrasche@elkodaily.com Elko Daily Free Press

ELKO — A consolidation of law enforcement agencies would not be a good idea, city council members decided Tuesday.

The Elko County Sheriff’s Office presented the proposal at a city council meeting on May 28.

The purpose of the consolidation would be to save costs and increase efficiency, Lt. Kevin McKinney said at the meeting.

Despite the in-depth presentation and lengthy discussion, the council unanimously decided to reject the merger proposal for now.

“This just doesn’t feel like a good fit right now,” Councilwoman Mandy Simons said. “Maybe in the future it could be, but I talked to people and researched about communities that are very similar to us and that have done this, and now they’re trying to go back.

“I’m just not sure that’s the road we should take. I’m worried about the numbers. I’m worried that things may be more costly than we think.”

City Council agreed to forgo the consolidation and instead focus on recruiting a new police chief to take the place of Don Zumwalt, who retires in October.

“This was just an option,” Sheriff Jim Pitts told the council. “We work with the Police Department well and this will not be any kind of brick between us. ... We’re just here to help.”

Copyright 2015 Elko Daily Free Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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