Friday, July 27, 2001

Kenton, Boone to share police work

By Jim Hannah
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Two Northern Kentucky counties have agreed to share law enforcement resources to save money while increasing service. Kenton County police will share their crime lab unit with the Boone County Sheriff's Department. In exchange, Boone will make its SWAT team available to Kenton.

        This pooling of resources is a practice being seen across the state, said Mike Browning, principal assistant at the Kentucky Justice Cabinet, Department of Criminal Justice Training in Richmond. He said the state's police chiefs association and sheriffs association are encouraging such cooperation.

        Mr. Browning, who left Kenton police as chief last year to take the job in Richmond, said most agencies find it hard to get money to do special functions now demanded by residents. When citizens relocate to the suburbs, he said, they expect to receive the same quality of service city police provided.

        “This is an example of agencies being able to trade services and cut down on duplications,” said Kenton Chief Bill Dorsey. ”

        Three Kenton officers will become members of the Boone SWAT team, as part of the agreement, and one sergeant from Boone will be assigned to the Kenton crime lab unit.

        In the past, Boone has contracted with the Covington police SWAT team at a minimum cost of $2,500 per call, Chief Dorsey said.

        Chief Dorsey estimated creating a SWAT team in Kenton would cost the county $75,000. He said a recently purchased van for Covington's SWAT team cost $81,000 alone.

        Boone Sheriff Mike Helmig said it would probably cost him another $75,000 to buy an evidence collection vehicle and start a crime lab unit. Kenton has been making its crime lab unit available to Boone police at no charge for several years.


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