TRENTON, NJ (WCBS 880) – Seventy-one percent of New Jersey residents surveyed in a Fairleigh Dickinson University – PublicMind poll, released Monday, believe sharing police, fire, and other public services with neighboring towns is a good idea.

WCBS 880’s Levon Putney on the hot topic in the Garden State

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The poll’s findings are not surprising to New Jersey State League of Municipalities executive director Bill Dressel, who says residents and town leaders all want to save money these days.

LINK: Detailed Poll Results

“Towns are looking at every possible option they can in order to reduce our over-reliance on the property tax,” Dressel told WCBS 880 reporter Levon Putney. “There’s a real focus on being able to achieve a cost savings.”

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Since shared service agreements have not always saved money he says they have to be worked out carefully to cut costs.

“But the devil’s gonna be in the details,” says state PBA spokesman Jim Ryan. “Many times it’s the local elected leaders that will decide what will happen.”

He says some small town mayors, for instance, don’t want to merge with neighboring towns because it could cost them votes by giving up their own police force.

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Dressel points out a recent survey that gave local police a 75 percent approval rating.