The Department of Revenue's Division of Local Services has recently completed an evaluation of the feasibility of sharing police and communications/dispatch in the towns of Ashby and Townsend.
The report is highlighted in this week's electronic edition of the DLS newsletter City and Town.
While the report specifically addresses issues of concern to those two communities, it also serves as something of a template for examining the kinds of issues and concerns that other communities may encounter as they too explore the possibility of regionalizing public safety or public safety dispatch services.
The report also provides a number of creative recommendations fashioned to fit the unique character of the the two towns. For instance, while Asby and Townsend sit side by side just south of the New Hampshire border just north of Leominster, Townsend is more than three times as large with a population of 9,400 and a population density twice that of the more rural Ashby.
To deal with that disparity, the report recommended that Townsend host the consolidated police department while Ashby purchase the same number of patrol shifts it currently funds.
DLS complete analysis of the consolidation plan is here.