Berkeley Heights P.B.A. President William Ives, responding to a Press Release issued by Berkeley Heights Mayor William Woodruff and New Providence Mayor John Thoms pertaining to a feasibility study on the consolidation of the two Police Departments issued the following statement:
"Based on the information provided, the Berkeley Heights PBA is opposed to any plan whose purpose is to consolidate the two agencies. After reading the statements by both Mayors we have serious concerns about proposed staff reductions and the continuing ability of both agencies to provide the best Law Enforcement services to our communities. We are currently operating with two officers below our approved complement and New Providence is also operating below their approved complement. While the Mayors indicate that staff reductions for a consolidated agency would come through attrition, and I am aware that the proposal is to reduce manpower by at least ten or eleven officers, it would take at least five years or more to accomplish this. Even the Union County Prosecutor came and spoke publicly to our Governing Body warning about manpower reductions in times like this."
President Ives continued:
"A consolidation of this size has never been accomplished anywhere in the state of New Jersey or the nation as far as I know. The enormity of the task of dealing with two agencies with completely different organizational structures, union contracts and benefit packages and most importantly agency cultures makes this proposal unrealistic. In addition, I don't believe that such a consolidation would benefit either community in terms of increasing the quality of service provided by either agency."