To reduce costs, the University of Nevada, Reno and Truckee Meadows Community College police forces are merging. Reno Public Radio’s Noah Glick reports.
Talks of a consolidation between the UNR and TMCC police forces have been happening for over a decade, but now the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents has voted to make it happen.
Adam Garcia is UNR’s police chief.
“It provides an enhanced level of service at reduced cost," Garcia says. "I’m seeing before my eyes a board and a chancellor saying, ‘We value the educational system so much that we are looking at ways to save money somewhere and provide that for labs, classrooms and whatever else the mission is of an educational institution.'”
An official plan for consolidation has not yet been approved. Critics have said the plan has gone through too many changes, and needs to be solidified. They have also expressed concern about police coverage in the event of an emergency, such as a campus shooter.
Garcia says that from a law enforcement perspective, the proposed plan will actually allow police to provide better service, including 24-hour coverage at TMCC, without changing the culture.
“A diminishing of service is not going to happen. They’re going to see the same people, the same faces, the philosophy remains the same," he says. "That service, community-oriented policing process, is going to continue.”
An official plan could be approved as early as next spring, with consolidation beginning in summer.