Burlingame, San Mateo might merge police forces

April 20, 2010 12:29:53 AM PDT
The police departments in Burlingame and San Mateo might merge -- that's a move that could save moth cities millions of dollars.

Controversy swirled around part of the plan at Burlingame City Hall.

Burlingame is considering hiring San Mateo's deputy police chief to replace its interim chief. That move is opposed by Burlingame's police union.

"We don't have a position pro or con regarding consolidation. Our concern is that in the hiring of deputy chief Callagy approx $245,000 would be spent from the Burlingame police budget and given to the San Mateo Police Department to pay for his salary and benefits. That might result in the loss of up to four police officers from Burlingame," said Jim Hutchings from the Police Officers' Association.

Both cities are facing multimillion-dollar deficits, and say they could save at least $200,000 a year by merging just their dispatch centers, and possibly millions more over the long run.