Anne R. Urbanski
It might be easier to consolidate police services in some areas due to the way government is structured in those areas. For example, here in Wisconsin, county sheriffs and their staffs do the policing in areas in many rural, unincorporated areas. Below the county level, we have townships, villages and cities. Some villages have a small police force, while others do not. Townships don’t have their own police and rely on the sheriffs. Also, as others have mentioned, sheriff is an elected position, while the police chiefs are all appointed and report to either the mayor or city manager if there is one. Sheriffs are elected in the spring elections, which are officially non-partisan, but often their personal politics are known to local voters and some sheriffs serve many years in office, which might be due more to their political leanings than their competence in office. So overall I think that consolidating police services here in Wisconsin might be even more difficult to achieve than consolidating school districts (which is a different discussion).