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Hinsdale-Clarendon Hills Police Consolidation Study


In 2009, the Village of Hinsdale invited Village Presidents and Managers of surrounding communities, including

Clarendon Hills, to discuss the possibility of shared services in their respective police departments.  The goal was to determine whether it was feasible to create cost savings by sharing more services across the police departments. The goals of the analysis were:

  • Cost control
  • Maintaining high service levels
  • Maintaining local control
  • Equal representation in governance

Four area communities continued to work on shared services through April 2011.

Through this analysis, it became apparent that the communities were already sharing in a number of ways, and additional sharing would bring minimal cost savings but would require substantial review and alignment of policies and procedures.

Hinsdale-Clarendon Hills Consolidation Discussion

In May 2011, the police chief of Clarendon Hills resigned. This vacancy prompted Hinsdale and Clarendon Hills to review in more detail the possibility of a consolidated department between the two communities, which already work closely together. That process has continued. A community meeting was held on Sept. 27 at Hinsdale Central High School to review the concept with residents of both communities and to receive feedback. (See PowerPoint and Question and Answer document at the bottom of this page.)

The current analysis shows that the two communities could save between $700,000 and $800,000 on an annual basis combined. A priority throughout the study was to not reduce the service level provided in either community. The cost reduction comes primarily from the reduction in administrative staffing while maintaining current patrol staffing and service levels. If the consolidation is implemented, both communities are committed to completing it without any layoffs of current staff. Additionally, the consolidation would require considerable effort to align policies and procedures. Therefore savings are not expected to occur immediately, but rather will occur over time as retirements occur. However, the larger staffing pool is expected to bring efficiencies in officer response, specialized units and reduced redundancy in administrative positions.

Estimated Cost Savings

The two Villages estimate that they will save between $700,000 and $800,000 collectively. These cost estimates are based on the elimination of five positions proposed in the consolidated staffing model. Additionally, personnel costs are the largest portion of each departments budget. The cost savings estimates do not include non-personnel operating costs, other than membership subscriptions such as Southwest Central Dispatch that are paid on a per-officer basis. The amount of work completed, including on-street patrol, tickets issued, etc. is not expected to change. However, we believe that some savings will be able to be achieved on non-personnel items as well.

These estimates take into account the projected differences in wage and benefit costs that would occur with a merge, including benefits such as health insurance, pension costs, and social security (one of the two communities offers social security to its officers, one does not). The working financial model is not complete and includes assumptions about wages and benefits that cannot be released until the completion of our collective bargaining process. 

The consolidated department would not have additional ability to levy taxes. It would be funded through each Village's general fund as the current police departments are funded. The Intergovernmental agreement outlines a cost sharing model based on percent distribution of a combination of population and annual calls for service. The details of this provision can be found in the draft IGA in Section V, however this remains a work in progress. The agreement available online has been updated at various points in the process;  a final agreement and financial models would be available for public review prior to Board consideration.  

Consolidation Concept

The consolidated department is proposed to be overseen by a Joint Law Enforcement Board, which would comprise the Village President, a Board Trustee and Village Manager from each community, providing for equal representation. The JLEB would meet in open sessions and have a rotating Chairmanship. Its role would be to oversee the department's budget, overall direction and department standards and supervision of the Police Chief including hiring and firing. Any tie or dispute of the JLEB would be resolved by a previously agreed upon arbitrator. In addition, a consolidated Board of Police Commissioners would be necessary to perform the current functions of hiring, promotions and discipline that each communities' respective Board of Police and Fire Commissioners oversees currently. The consolidated Board would only oversee Police issues. The make up of this Board is still to be determined.

There are several steps that must be completed before a consolidated department can become a reality. The two communities continue to work to refine the financial model and intergovernmental agreement. A bill is expected to be considered in Springfield that would remove current legal barriers to consolidation. Both communities sworn officers are represented by the Fraternal Order of Police for collective bargaining and a new collective bargaining agreement would need to be established. In addition, the two Village Boards continue to seek public input on the process. A final decision by the two Village Boards on whether to pursue consolidation will occur in the coming months, after the research is completed and community input has been received. 

The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, a state agency for improving the administration of criminal justice (www.icjia.state.il.us/public/), is lending research and legal assistance to the effort to the Village of Hinsdale and Clarendon Hills for this process. 

Timeline

Below is the current timeline both communities are following. This timeline has evolved throughout the process, however, as various facets have required additional analysis and discussion. While both communities aim to follow the timeline below, there may be further changes as issues require further review.

 

  • November- December 2012 – Negotiations with FOP on Consolidated Agreement
  • December 2012 – January 2013 – Development of Draft Department Budget
  • January 2013 – Enabling Legislation Adopted (Dependent on Illinois State Legislature)
  • January 2013 – Draft IGA and Budget Presented for Public Comment
  • February – March, 2013 -  IGA and Budget Approval  by the Village Boards
  • May 1, 2013 – Establishment of the Joint Law Enforcement Board “JLEB”
  • May 1, 2013 – Implementation of Consolidated Collective Bargaining Agreement
  • May – July, 2013 -  JLEB Adopts Rules and Procedures, Conducts Recruitment Process for Chief and Evaluation of Policies, and Practices  Necessary for Consolidation
  • May – October, 2013 – Standardization of Polices and Development of Field Training Program for Police Officers
  • August - October 2013 – Merging of Administrative & Investigative Functions
  • November 2013 – CH and Hinsdale align their shift schedules
  • November 2013 – April 2014 – Field Training and Training on New Policies
  • May 2014 or later – Merger of Patrol Functions Upon Completion of Training
  • April 2015 or sooner – Anticipated Achievement of Total Manning Number  via Attrition
     

 

Press Release

 

Police Consolidation Information

September 27 Public Meeting Video

Hinsdale and Clarendon Hills Police Consolidation Open House 09/27/12 from Village of Hinsdale on Vimeo.