Rothschild, Everest Metro police merger voted down - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Rothschild, Everest Metro police merger voted down

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -

Two police departments in our area will not be merging.

The Rothschild Village Board voted Monday against combining its police department with Everest Metro.

More than 100 people showed up at the meeting Monday night. The idea of creating one large police department to serve Schofield, Weston and Rothschild isn't new, but for now, it will remain just an idea.

The discussion of merging Rothschild and Everest Metro Police Departments got going earlier this year. Everest Metro already serves Weston and Schofield. Police Chief Wally Sparks thought adding Rothschild would be a good idea.

"I felt this was going to be a win-win for all four. I'm aware of the numbers and the budget process, and running a multi-jurisdiction department, for the last four and a half years, it works," said Sparks.

Not everyone agreed. The Rothschild Village Board voted 6-1 against merging. Board members say they were worried about having enough officers in Rothschild and many people agreed.

"We have a really good police department and I don't see fixing something that isn't broken," said Jerry Goestch of Rothschild.

Goestch says he's lived in Rothschild for 43 years and prefers things just the way they are.

"I like living in a small community," said Goestch.

The plan would have closed the Rothschild Police Department, leaving just Everest Metro, but Chief Sparks says no jobs would have been lost, and it would have saved money.

"The people spoke and said what they want and that's what the democratic process is all about.," said Sparks.

Rothschild and Everest Metro will stay separated, but the two will continue to help each other when needed.

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