In the Inland Empire you can find a concrete example of how a partial municipal consolidation can be effective. Combing three SWAT teams into a regional team has saved money while pooling resources to create a more versatile fighting force.
The SWAT team, which was regionalized recently, has allowed individual departments to reduce the number of officers assigned to SWAT duties while increasing the overall size of the SWAT teams available. Reducing individually assigned officers means that departments need to pull fewer officers from normal duties to maintain the 20-hour-per-month training regimen. It also means that some of the specialized and expensive equipment can be shared – increasing cost savings while simultaneously accessing a larger arsenal.
Fontana used to have 30 officers assigned to SWAT duties – at the cost of some 600 hours of training per month. That has been reduced to 16 officers – while the available SWAT force has increased to 39 officers. Not only are personnel and materials pooled, so is expertise.
So far, the regionalized team has responded to 11 barricade situations, a couple of high-risk warrants, and a suicide attempt.
Read the full story at the San Bernardino Sun.