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Law enforcement agencies in Oldham County will soon be evaluated by a group of consultants to determine whether a merger would save tax dollars or improve public safety. Members of Oldham County Fiscal Court approved an expenditure for an independent law enforcement operations and management assessment on Tuesday. Oldham County Police Department, Oldham County Sheriff’s Office and La Grange Police Department will be assessed by three consultants, including two former Jefferson County police officers. Results of the 60-day study will help officials determine whether the agencies duplicate services, and if the agencies are capable of providing public protection with population growth in the county. The study, with a price tag of $27,000, will be completed by the American Crime Prevention Institute in Louisville to analyze every aspect of operations in each department, including staffing, patrols, investigations and programs. The court voted 6-2 in favor of the assessment, with Magistrates Scott Davis and David Voegele dissenting. Both magistrates argued the county’s budget is too tight to spend on a study. Oldham County Judge-Executive Duane Murner requested information on a law enforcement assessment in December. Last fall, OCPD Chief Michael Griffin met with officials in Boone County to discuss details of merging law enforcement agencies. The Boone County Sheriff’s Department merged with county police in 2002. “My feeling was we didn’t know enough information on the subject to charge into anything,” Murner said. Murner said he expects the results of the study will put public questioning to rest, and may show cost-saving strategies for the county. He said Griffin, Sheriff Steve Sparrow and LPD Chief Kevin Collett agreed to the assessment. Murner added that Shawn Boyle, the county’s chief financial officer, allocated money from the budget for this assessment. Griffin said he looking forward to learning the results of the study. Sparrow said he doesn’t believe the study will affect the operations of his agency. He anticipates meeting with the consultants and explaining the responsibilities and duties of OCSO.
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