Imagine if Peoria County and all other local police agencies joined forces to make one agency, what would be the benefits, if any? Former Peoria County Sheriff Mike McCoy explored this option during his tenure.
“If everybody can buy uniforms at the same place, badges, and squad cars at the same place it would help save money,” said McCoy.
Uni-government, Metropolitan department, there are plenty of ways to name it. Either way it would be the county and the municipalities within it working together.
“You could find some efficiencies in man power,” McCoy adds. “You could find some efficiencies in everything that you buy.”
McCoy said back when he first explored this possibility other villages weren’t interested in participating.
But let’s fast forward now as police pensions push the City of Peoria down a hole of $6 million dollars,, could this help?
“Those pending bills or pending obligations are still out there,” said Peoria City Manager Patrick Urich. “We’re gonna have to carry that forward so that’s not gonna go away.”
But down the line, we asked Urich about cost saving measures.
“Could it save money long term, its unclear,” Urich answered. “That’s the most difficult question.”
Consolidation would take legislation from Springfield to make happen. Hypothetically if legislation was enacted, the biggest question then would be: Who is in leadership, the city, or the county?