Working Towards a Common Goal: Building an Effective Homeland Security Response Through a Shared Resource Model

– Executive Summary

This thesis focuses on effective and efficient law enforcement collaboration in areas where multiple agencies share policing authority and the responsibility to protect their communities from threats. A common method of law enforcement collaboration is through agency consolidation.[1] The study explores the benefits and drawbacks of law enforcement consolidation to improve the service provided to the entire jurisdiction. It evaluates three consolidation methods and finds that a shared resource model achieves the same benefits as the other methods discussed with fewer drawbacks and costs.

Researchers often evaluate law enforcement effectiveness and efficiency by their need for improvement.[2] Efficiency and effectiveness are fundamental indicators for optimizing the use of limited resources while enhancing effectiveness to fulfill their mission of protecting the nation and its citizens.[3] Measuring law enforcement effectiveness and efficiency adapts different business models to determine which processes most improved both outcomes. Collaboration emerged as a vital component in organizing and directing resources and personnel during crises or emergencies, leading to well-organized and efficient law enforcement and homeland security responses.[4] This thesis found that collaboration improves communication, strengthens community engagement, and builds public trust, resulting in a more resilient and united law enforcement and homeland security response.

The study aimed to determine the most proficient method of attaining law enforcement collaboration without reducing effectiveness and efficiency. It involved evaluating case studies of several law enforcement agency consolidations to understand the benefits and drawbacks of this approach. Although mergers offer various advantages, such as cost-savings and improved police services, the case studies revealed that the disadvantages often outweighed any benefits. In two small communities in southern New Jersey, the Woodlynne and Collingswood Police Departments elected to merge into one unified police agency. However, the services offered by the new agency were less effective and efficient than the two independent entities.[5] This outcome led to the merger’s collapse and additional spending to reestablish the original departments. The thesis examines this failure and those that occurred in Kentucky, New York, California, Texas, and Indiana to determine the drawbacks that reduced effectiveness and efficiency.

The shared resource model represents a promising alternative to consolidation in law enforcement and homeland security response. By fostering collaboration and resource sharing among agencies within the same or adjoining jurisdictions, this model enhances effectiveness and efficiency while preserving the autonomy of participating entities. Under the shared resource model, agencies identify shareable resources, including funding sources, equipment, personnel, services, and facilities. The model’s advantages include improved intelligence sharing, standardized response procedures, and enhanced incident management.

Implementing a shared resources model entails challenges, such as convincing leadership of the benefits of law enforcement collaboration and methods to obtain them. Other challenges identified include overcoming interagency differences and promoting a common goal, crucial elements for successfully implementing the shared resource model. Suggestions for using this model followed the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s (IACP) model for police agency consolidation. The IACP further recommends that law enforcement agencies consider the shared resource model before pursuing complete or functional mergers. By doing so, agencies can achieve greater efficiency, effectiveness, and public safety while maintaining local control and customized policing. The evaluation mechanisms proposed in the thesis will address deficiencies and ensure the success of the shared resource model.

[1] International Association of Chiefs of Police, Consolidating Police Services: An IACP Planning Approach (Washington, DC, 2003), 1,

[2] Julie Schnobrich-Davis, “Regionalization of Selected Police Services through a Law Enforcement Council: Is It Worth the Cost” (Ph.D. diss., State University of New York at Albany, 2010), 5,

[3] Jennie M Temple, “Enhancing Regional Collaboration – Taking the next Step” (master’s thesis, Naval Postgraduate School, 2007), 28,

[4] Schnobrich-Davis, “Regionalization of Selected Police Services,” 30.

[5] Amber L. Ciccanti, “Exploring the Failed Police Consolidation Efforts of Four Police Departments in New Jersey” (Ph.D. diss., Northcentral University, 2012), 124–33,

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