The nine mayors of the municipalities of Beringen, Ham, Hamont-Achel, Hechtel-Eksel, Leopoldsburg, Lommel, Peer, Pelt and Tessenderlo have decided not to pursue their plans for the unification of their four police zones into the North-West Limburg police zone for the time being. to make.
They announced this in a press release on Thursday evening. It concerned the police zones BHT, Kempenland, Hano and Lommel.
The merger plans arose after discussions with the attorney, governor and district commissioner on the basis of a study by Prof. Dr. Jelle Jansens of Ghent University. That study showed that far-reaching cooperation would become necessary in the long run and a merger with four would therefore be the best option. Two years ago, mayors, zone chiefs and working groups of police officers from the four zones started discussions for the new zone. However, that turned out to be no easy task.
According to the municipal authorities involved, the vastness of the new zone ‘without a centrally located city center and two police centers in the north and west’ led to a ‘hybrid’ model with two regional commissions and an extensive district office in every other municipality. “A whole organization and also reorganization compared to the functioning of the current smaller zones,” the announcement said. ‘Because this is suddenly a big step with here and there doubts about the direct added value and the impact on the staff, the mayors have decided to put the merger plans aside.’
In order to finalize the merger during this municipal administrative period, it must be final before December 31, 2023. According to the mayors, there should still be an agreement in principle in all municipal and police councils this autumn, according to the mayors.