Commissioners discuss "safety board" - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Kontji Anthony

Commissioners discuss "safety board"

County commissioners discussed a plan Monday that would create a safety board that would work with the sheriff's department and the police department.

Some say it would help eliminate a duplication of services, others argued it was a precursor to consolidating law enforcement and government.
Consolidating government and law enforcement in Shelby County is a touchy issue.  It is something Mayor Herenton has talked about for years
But some county leaders have always pushed back. Monday afternoon at commission meeting the issue came up again.
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.
That sent a usually calm Joyce Avery to strongly speak out against it. The resolution's vote was 6-5 in favor of the resolution. But without the 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," Shelby County Sheriff Mark Luttrell said.

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

The issue of consolidation is not expected to go away. Ultimately the power will be in the hands of voters throughout Shelby County.

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