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Household's in Missouri aren't the only ones feeling the financial pinch in these tough economic times, law enforcement agencies throughout the area are feeling the pinch too.
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As a result, the police forces in Marionville and Aurora will combine forces and enter into an intergovernmental agreement for a year to see how it works out before solidifying both department's into one unit.
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The Marionville and Aurora Police Departments have been mulling over the merger for several months and city attorney's for both municipalities are tweaking paperwork and conditions prior to signing paperwork to join the forces early next year.
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Right now Marionville, which has two full and part time officers in addition to Chief Mark Webb, and an annual budget of $240,000 pays Aurora for 9-1-1 dispatch and jail space compared to Aurora PD's annual budget of $1.6 Million and sixteen officers. A limited police force leaves Marionville without protection around the clock. "This is a total win for Marionville," said Webb, who will become Chief Deputy in Aurora when the law enforcement agencies are combined.
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Marionville Police Chief Mark Webb



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Aurora Police Chief Rick Witthuhn echoed the sentiment. "Their criminals are our criminals." "By combining our departments, we will benefit from their budget and they will benefit from ours." 

"We will be able to offer additional training to both departments and be able to provide more comprehensive crime investigations," said Webb.
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And both chiefs have a wealth of experience and expertise to offer their officers. Witthuhn is a retired Wichita, Kansas officer and Webb spent years working with the Springfield Police Department.
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Webb says there has been a lot of interest from the Missouri Municipal League and the Attorney General's office in the merger because this type of agreement between law enforcement hasn't been done in the state before. A graduate student will offer the departments and unbiased assessment of the merger during the first year, said Webb.
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If the proposed merger is successful it would take about three years to complete the implementation.  The combined departments would then choose a new name and be headquartered in Aurora, with a satellite office in Marionville.

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