Plans continue for Hinsdale, Clarendon Hills police merger
Updated: January 28, 2013 6:14AM
CLARENDON HILLS — Legislation to allow for the merger of police departments in Clarendon Hills and Hinsdale may pass next month.
Village Manager Randy Recklaus said Dec. 17 House Bill 4903, sponsored by state Rep. Patti Bellock, R-47th of Hinsdale, may be considered in January. It was believed by local officials legislation would not be considered until the next General Assembly convenes.
Both villages first announced Oct. 27, 2011 that they were engaged in discussions about a possible merger in an effort to save money.
Representatives from Clarendon Hills and Hinsdale continue to negotiate for a consolidated agreement with the Fraternal Order of Police, the organization that represents officers in both departments.
Total expected savings would be $700,000 to $800,000 annually, Recklaus said. This would be achieved by eliminating administrative positions of one chief, one deputy chief and three sergeants. Those positions would be eliminated through attrition, Recklaus said.
“This still is very much a work in progress,” he said. “The negotiations with the FOP are a big part because labor costs really drive the equation. It’s very possible that if we’re not able to reach an agreement on collective bargaining, the project won’t be feasible.”
The consolidation plans call for a Joint Law Enforcement Board to be established May 1. That group of six would include village presidents, village managers and one trustee from each village. All votes by the Joint Law Enforcement Board would require a majority to pass.
Along with the Joint Law Enforcement Board, a Joint Board of Police Commissioners and a Joint Pension Board also would be established.
The adoption of policies and procedures for a merged police department would take place May-July of 2013, and administrative functions would happen August-October.
Shift schedules for officers would be aligned in November with the 12-hour shifts being used in Hinsdale. Clarendon Hills’ officers currently work 8.5-hour shifts.
Field training and training on new policies would take place November 2013 to April 2014, and by April 2015, or sooner, the reduction of five administrative positions would be achieved.