After close to 7 months of debates, discussions and a vote on the proposed police merger that was 1,002 in favor and 756 against, Demarest’s Borough Council decided last week to dissolve the municipality’s Police Department and hire the Bergen County Police Department to do the work instead.
According to the official notes as posted by Demarest’s mayor on the town’s official site ” We have received a proposal from Bergen County to merge our police department with that of the County Police. Besides guaranteeing the same level of policing we currently have, and some enhanced areas of service, the annual savings to the Borough residents would be greater than $400,000. The Borough would also receive annual revenue for rent along with one-time revenue for equipment purchase.”
Will Demarest’s decision be the precursor to the neighboring towns? That may take a while to answer, as municipal officials all over the county will watch closely how Demarest and the county execute this merger. Such a move could make a lot of financial and organizational sense for other small towns such as Cresskill and Closter.
Tenafly, which has almost double the population of Demarest is not going that route and is maintaining its own police department