Consolidation comes up again in county commission meeting - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Andrew Douglas

Consolidation comes up again in county commission meeting

Consolidating government and law enforcement in Shelby County is a touchy and passionate issue.

It's something Mayor Herenton has talked about for years

"Yes...I'm singing out this choir book again. We must consolidate these governments," Herenton said.  
But some county leaders have always pushed back and Monday afternoon at county commission the issue came up again.

"I see it as a back to door way of trying to consolidate," commissioner Joyce Avery said.
Consolidation came up when Commissioner Mike carpenter sponsored a resolution creating a five member safety board assisting the sheriff's office and the police department in crafting inter-local agreements.

The idea behind it is to "functionally consolidate where there is duplication or opportunity for cooperation" according to commissioner Mike Carpenter.

That sent a usually calm Joyce Avery to strongly speak out against it.

"I do not agree with this. Sheriff Luttrell hasn't done a good job he's done a fantastic job leave him alone," Avery said.  

The resolution's vote was 6-to-5 in favor, but without seven mandatory votes the resolution failed.

"Any discussion to improve proficiency. I'm all for that and if it's the intent of this committee to look for ways to be more efficient then certainly I am supportive of that," Sheriff Mark Luttrell said.

Sheriff Luttrell insists he's not opposed to the concept of consolidation. He insists the current concept is wrong for Shelby County.

Click here to e-mail Andrew Douglas.

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