Harlan Police Department "unification"


Recently, the City council of Harlan voted to make the Halarlan Police department go countywide. This means there will be no more police department, the only form of law enforcement in Harlan will be the Sherrif and his deputies. This is a very controversial issue in Harlan and Shelby county. There are lots of people that think that it should stay the way that it was, let’s explore these reasons.


First, If/when this doesn't work, and the city wants its police department back, who will pay for it? They will need all of the equipment, they will have to increase certain officers' pay for Sergeant, Asst. Chief, and Chief. The Taxpayers will be the ones paying for the reconstruction of the police department. Also, in Salt Lake, they had a "unified law enforcement system. But they are now wanting their old ways back and are switching to a police and sheriff's office separately. 


Secondly, there will not be nearly as much coverage in town when the deputies are able to be countywide instead of staying in town. There is no promise that there will be someone near the city all the time. For example, if something big happens in a different town inside of Shelby county, there will be ZERO coverage in Harlan. With a police department, there is coverage all the time.


Third, there will be a loss of jobs in the city. The current police officers are NOT guaranteed a job at the sheriff's department, and two won't get a job anyways. The city will no longer run the police department. This makes you wonder if the high-up people in the city such as the mayor and city administrator need pay cuts because part of their job just got handed over to the county.


Fourth, it is not cost-effective and they are not really unified They will have two fewer people than a fully staffed police and sheriff department would. And it would cost around the same amount to do it if not cost more. Also, how are they "truly unified" if they are still in separate buildings for offices? It is still similar to a police department and sheriff's office because of this reason.



Do you think that the police department should be unified with the sheriff's office?

Why or why not?

What do you think could be some pros/cons of this unification process?

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  • Great topic choiced and super job!

  • In my personal opinion, I think that they should just keep it how it is right now. Although I can understand and see why they would wish to do this,  I still do not think it is a great idea  I think in the increasingly tense political climate, less police coverage is not necessarily the best option right now. 

  • I think it shouldn't be unified with the sheriff's office. I think some of the cons of the unification process would be is mainly less police coverage in Harlan and communitcaiton issues. I think the crime rate here in Harlan would increase dramatically.

  • I this it should stay the same and not change. Part of my reasoning is that people in general don't like change let alone a change that if it doesn't work then they have to pay more and that will make people against it even more. I think that the current police officers not having a guaranteed job just makes it even harder to agree to it because that would be just taking jobs away from people.

  • I think they should keep it how it is. although I understand why they are doing it I don't agree with it. I feel like it's going to boost the amount of speeding tickets and other tickets because they will have more cops to patrol the county.

  • I don't think that they should be unified. In my opinion, the police officers barely help as is, if we were to not even have them and only sheriffs then I feel like the town would be filled with even more crime and drug addicts because it would be easier to get away with it. I feel like without having much "help" in town then it would be a lot harder to find help if there is a fire, robbery, or if you're getting assaulted, what are you supposed to do? Wait for help while you're on the verge of trouble? It just wouldn't be a logical decision to do something like this.

    • I agree, if someone is being assaulted, the deputy will have to take at least 5 minutes or more to get there, which is way too long.

  • I don't thing that they should be unified, because if they with use the building there won't be a point to any of it. I feel like things are good enough as they are now. Plus, it would cost a lot of money to, if this doesn't work, to buy all of the equipment back for the police.

  • I don't think they should be unified, if they will use the building to separate the sheriff anyway there is no point. No one is guaranteed a job. They approved of them to be unified, we don't know a start date, but I don't think this is going to work, and that it will be a waste of money. 

  • I personally don't see the point of the unification and not unifying. I feel that things are fine the way they already are. I also see how Harlan doesn't need a police force. Most of the surronding towns in the area don't have their own police force and they are doing fine.

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