BY EARNEST WINSTON
The Cincinnati Enquirer
LUDLOW -- When Ludlow Police Chief Tom Collins talks about how his officers will begin patrolling neighboring Bromley on July 1, a smile stretches across his face.
"As far as I'm concerned, geographically it just makes sense. But to me, personally, it means a lot more than that," said Chief Collins, who began his law enforcement career in Bromley in 1976. He was the first full-time officer to work in Bromley.
Bromley previously contracted with Crescent Springs police, formerly the Dixie Police Authority. Bromley -- a city of 1,100 people -- dismantled its police department about eight years ago to cut costs.
But talk about Ludlow's patrolling Bromley isn't new. City officials have been talking about it for years.
"I don't know why you wouldn't want it this way," the 42-year-old chief said. "I personally think the citizens of Bromley are going to see a lot of enforcement in terms of patrol."
Bromley council members said they sought the change because they want more speed checks and a larger police presence throughout the city.
"To be honest with you, I think (Bromley residents) are going to be overwhelmed with the police coverage that they're going to see," Chief Collins said.
Ludlow police have already started testing response times to and from Bromley, with three to five minutes being the average. Ludlow's response time is several minutes quicker than Crescent Springs' police.
Bromley residents think that because of the proximity between the riverfront cities, Ludlow police will provide better response time.
"I think it's great. The reason I like it . . . is they're two minutes away. We didn't have any problem with Dixie at all," Bromley resident Mike Palmer said. But with Ludlow, "They're going to be down here more often," he said.
Ludlow police will begin attending Bromley City Council meetings in June to become familiar with the city.
Chief Collins said his nine-officer department will not be stretched when it starts patrolling Bromley. However, he hopes to hire another officer if he is successful with a grant application. Ludlow officers investigated 179 major crimes in 1995, according to figures compiled from the Kentucky State Police and the FBI. The category includes murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, larceny and auto theft.