Local News

Fayetteville Officials Discuss Possible Merger Of Police Department, Sheriff's Office

Posted November 5, 2000 6:00 a.m. EST

— In 1985, Fayetteville City and Cumberland County school systems merged, but now there is talk of a possible merger between the police department and the sheriff's office.

Gerald Holman has lived in his house for almost a year, but he does not know exactly where he lives.

"I don't know really if it's the city or the county. I just say Fayetteville," he says.

Holman's home falls in a gray area between city and county boundaries. Even though the city limit sign is just a few feet away from his house, there is still some confusion.

"The city picks up my trash, but I pay my lights to South River and my water to PWC, so I have no idea where the line is," he says.

It is that type of uncertainty Cumberland County Sheriff Earl Butler thinks can be avoided if the city and county merge law enforcement agencies.

"It would bring the groups together without worrying about the boundaries within that area," he says.

The city council first brought up the issue of a police merger in July. Some councilmembers support the idea, saying a larger operation would be more efficient. Butler says it would also mean less duplication of services.

"We both have an identification section. We both do K-9. and we both do drug enforcement," he says. Earlier Monday, county commissioners also discussed the idea of a city-county police merger. However at this time -->

The talk of a possible police merger at Monday night's city council meeting was just that, talk, but the fact that it is up for discussion has some residents pleased.