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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  • I think that the police department works fine as it is now. I do see why they want to unify it. It is cheaper and then everything is under one administration. However, the towns wouldn't have as much coverage, and Harlan needs more coverage than the other small towns.

  • I don't think they should be unified, I think they way the department is set up now is just fine. With fewer cops in town it could be dangerous in certain situations. I think there are some pros and cons to becoming one department but I don't think that its in the best interest of the town. 

  • I think that the police department should just stay the way that it is. Things have been running smoothly in Harlan for quite some time so why are we trying to change the way we've been doing it for forever. I think some cons of the unification process would be people in Harlan would not get the help they need when they need it.

    • Yes, things have been running relatively smoothly for the past years. so why change? There would defiantly be less coverage in town as well.


  • I think that the Harlan police should stay the way it is now. if it's not broken don't fix it and the way the police station is set up now works perfectly fine so there would be no point in changing it. I think that this should stay as it is.

    • I agree with the phrase that you used 'if it's not broken don't fix it'. As you said, the police work just fine, so they don't need to be fixed. There is no need for change

  • I personally think that getting rid of the harlan police station and sending all the officers to the sheriffs office is a good idea. I think its a good idea because instead of a harlan cop being stuck in harlan they can go to any town in shelby county witch will probably improve there moral. Some pro would be that the officers would enjoy there jobs but the cons would be that there are cops going to be more cops in every town witch would suck for me atleast.

    • The officers arent being sent to the sheriff's office, they are stripped of their jobs, and then they are able to apply at the sheriff office or go elsewhere. They aren't really given a job, some of them may not get a job at the sheriffs office because their application was rejected or because they don't want to work there. It is not a transferring process.

  • I dont think that the police department should merge with the sherifs because then the police would have to go back to the start. They would start at a lower pay and have to work up. I think that the money situation can be fixed by other ways. I think that if we merge the two there will be less cops in harlan and that would be bad.

  • I dont think the police department should join the sharifs department because then we wont have any local cops and there is going to be more cops on the high ways. I think if they join there will be coverage ishues becuse the cops cant be every were.

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