The cities of Greenfield and Soldedad had been planning to merge their two, separate police forces into a regional department, but that’s now on hold. A referendum petition has qualified for the ballot that would overturn the city council’s decision to merge the units.

Now that the petition has qualified, the city council has the option to put the issue on the ballot or adopt the ordinance immediately. In either case, the consolidation that was aimed at cutting costs is on hold.

In Greenfield, the decision to merge with neighboring Soledad was made because the police force consumes 73 percent of the general fund, and the council thought it would be better to merge with another local agency than turn over law enforcement to a larger body, such as the sheriff’s office. The thought was that the local force would be subject to greater controls.

From The Californian:

For now, Greenfield officials have been forced to put on hold efforts to merge its police department with a neighboring city.

On Tuesday, the Greenfield City Council is expected to consider a referendum petition aimed at taking down a move to share police services with the city of Soledad.

Earlier in the week, the Monterey County Elections Department notified Greenfield that enough valid signatures had been collected through a referendum petition seeking to overturn the decision by city leaders.

Read the full article here.