Merger ends

This story has been updated to include comment from Lake Dallas City Manager Kandace Lesley and Corinth City Manager Bob Hart. 

One month after a trial period began, a proposed merger between the Corinth and Lake Dallas police departments met its end.

The Corinth and Lake Dallas police departments won’t be moving forward with a proposed merger, the city of Corinth announced Monday.

According to a statement from the city, Corinth City Manager Bob Hart told the city of Lake Dallas that Corinth would not be continuing the Corinth Police Department’s participation in an interlocal agreement to merge the two departments.

“Due to safety and liability risks from inconsistent management and training procedures, the decision was made to terminate the agreement promptly rather than waiting 12 months,” the city stated.

The statement added that the Corinth Police Department would continue to assist Lake Dallas officers when needed and “will work together to ensure a smooth dissolving of the agreement.”

Lake Dallas City Manager Kandace Lesley said she was aware of Corinth’s post and that she was surprised by what it said.  

We were aware of the fact that both parties were wanting to mutually decide to part ways, but what was put in the post, however, made it look like the city of Lake Dallas’s police department was so inefficient and so untrained that they became a liability and a risk,” she said. “So the post made it look like that they were pulling out for that reason, which is not the truth.”     

I think it needs to be said that our police department has and will continue to provide great service to our citizens, and they really don’t have any need to be fearful of their safety, and our police department is not a liability,” Lesley said. 

Corinth City Manager Bob Hart provided a statement Tuesday to the Lake Cities Sun.  

“We have the utmost respect for the Lake Dallas Police Department," Hart said. "However, both departments have different approaches to training, site command, and management. This is a potential safety and liability risk to officers from both departments. While this may not have worked as hoped, I want to stress our commitment to working with Lake Dallas on other cooperative projects such as broadband and Lake Cities Focus, among others.”

Corinth's announcement comes after a trial merger began between the two departments on Sept. 1. The trial was set to last for one year as part of a study ordered by the Lake Dallas and Corinth city councils in an effort to see if joining personnel and resources could increase effectiveness and efficiency, Corinth Police Chief Jerry Garner stated at the time.

Either city was able to end the agreement at any point if not satisfied with the results.

The Lake Dallas Police Department and the city of Corinth did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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