With Its High Police Costs, Will South Florida Turn to Agency Mergers?


The Sun Sentinel says police agency mergers could be a trend in South Florida. A study of city-by-city law enforcement spending in Broward County concluded that South Florida police staffing levels are about 60 percent higher per capita than national averages, and cities that contracted services spend 33 percent less per-capita than those with their own departments.

The study of Broward spending by Orlando-based Fishkind and Associates was commissioned by Broward Workshop, a group of business leaders. “Merging is economical because there is a lot of overlap,” said Brian Martin, a Fishkind associate. Cities can save on administrative, pension and personnel costs, he added. That can make a difference for struggling municipalities because on average, more than 50 percent of a city’s general fund goes toward police and fire services.

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