Editorial: City-County Merger

One way to get  more police officers patrolling Montgomery streets  would be to merge the city and county governments.  Some cross over work happens now, but more would under one government.

Montgomery is already the second largest city in Alabama and could surpass Birmingham in the next  census.  All but about 30,000 people in Montgomery County live in the city of Montgomery so additional assistance from the 135 police officers now in the County would be welcome.

Joint  city-county funding for emergency management, juvenile detention, the museum and library occurs now.

Joining other functions would seem to make sense as well, relieving duplication in some areas and enhancing operations in others - for instance, maintaining one computer system rather than two.

Merging governments in Columbus, Georgia, Jacksonville, Florida and Louisville, Kentucky in recent years seems to have worked very well.

It is something our state legislature should strongly consider here to help us more effectively address  some of the challenges we face.

It will take combined efforts from the city and county, district attorney and sheriff, and police chief and judges, to continue to curb crime.

Changing bonding schedules may make a quicker impact than merging governments.

But all possibilities should be explored to make our capital city the state's leading city!