Two Marathon County police departments could merge - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Two Marathon County police departments could merge

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MARATHON COUNTY (WAOW) -

Everest Metro and Rothschild officers could soon be working together in one department.

"The urban communities adjacent to Wausau, very similar in style and makeup of community and that in and of itself kind of makes for a good fit," said Everest Metro Police Chief, Wally Sparks.

Everest Metro Police Chief Wally Sparks said a merger would cut some costs without harming services.

"We have officers on the squad team, we have a full-time detective bureau, we have school resource officers, we have a community service officer," said Sparks.

Rothschild's Village President said the merger talks started earlier this year, as an option after Police Chief Dean Albrecht retires.

"Every year we get more budget restraints placed by the state government, so we have to run as lean as we can and to do that, this would be one way," said Village President, George Peterson.

Albrecht declined to speak on camera, but he said he believes a merger wouldn't affect services, such as neighborhood patrols and would only improve them.

Everest Metro's Chief Sparks agrees.

"They have an excellent staff at the Rothschild Police Department, but by virtue of the size we have some things that will enhance service to the community," said Sparks.

Sparks said the merger would not cut jobs and the combined crew would be 34 officers.

"Everybody would keep their rank and seniority, so nobody would be adversely impacted," said Sparks.

Officials said the next step is to form a joint finance committee to determine the costs and benefits of a merger.

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