CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. - The Chief of Police in Clarksville voted against consolidation on Monday. He doesn't believe dissolving the Clarksville Police Department into the Montgomery County Sheriff's Department is a good idea.
According to the proposed consolidation charter, the department would be named "Clarksville Montgomery County Metropolitan Police Department."
Al Ansley said, "If we develop this department we lose our accreditation no ifs ands or buts. If we lost it which means you start all over, and that's a lot of work you're talking about."
Clarksville Police Chief Al Ansley said the Sheriff's Department is not accredited.
He would not take the Chief Deputy role under the Sheriff.
Ansley said, "I'm getting close to retirement. That is one thing I'd like to clear up. I said that not because of any reason or any particular reason any sour grapes what have you. I said that because I care about this police department. I care about the people here."
Montgomery County Sheriff John Fuson issued a statement:
"As the elected Chief Law Enforcement Officer of Montgomery County, I serve at the will of the people. If the voters choose to consolidate my office and the Clarksville Police Department, then I stand ready to do exactly that. Pass or fail, the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office will continue to provide our citizens with the most professional and effective law enforcement services possible."
A big question with consolidation is cost to taxpayers. Uniforms, patrol cars, and communication radio systems aren't cheap. In 2012, Chief Ansley said their new radio system cost $8-million. Right now sheriff's deputies and city officers are on different radio communication systems. It makes it difficult, even dangerous, in situations like the Kirby Wallace manhunt.
Ansley said, "No question about that. That is something that does need to happen regardless of if you consolidate or not."
It's up to voters to decide in the November 6th election.
For more information on government consolidation, click here. The issue was also discussed in a NewsChannel 5 OpenLine segment.