I formerly lived in Onondaga County. (I now reside in the next county over) The county has 19 Incorporated towns and 15 Incorporated villages as well as the City of Syracuse, and one Indian Reservation. (Note: all areas of the county are Incorporated as a town or a city. Some towns have one or more villages, some have none.) The county has a Sheriff dept and the city of Syracuse has its own police dept. Normally the Sheriffs dept does not patrol the city at all. Some towns and villages have police depts, some dint. In some instances a village will have coverage by its own village dept and by the town police. The Towns that do not have a police dept are patrolled by the Sheriffs dept; however the town must pay the county for the coverage. (about two years ago - one town dissolved its police dept and now is covered by the sheriffs dept - supposedly the decision was made to save money. Opponents wanted to maintain the "Andy Taylor" presence of local police. Here are some options: 1) Maintain the current status 2) Have a county wide police dept (including the city) 3) Have a county wide police dept (less the city) 4) Have a county operational control police - ie each town to have its own police dept - but with same uniforms - policies - standard, ect 5) Allow villages to maintain its own force 6) Allow villages to maintain its own force, but be under operational control of the county 7) Dissolve all village depts - only town 8) vote in a Libertian and do away with all police What would you choose? I will talk about fire depts later - but I will say this- A city is required to have a fire dept. A village is allowed- but not required to have a fire dept A Town is not permitted(by state law) to have a fire dept ( towns are covered by village and/or volunteer fire depts.) Salty PS - I used Ononadag county as I am more familliar with their operations.