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GREENWICH -- The Village Board unanimously approved a new 12-month contract on Monday night that will allow for better sharing of police department services with the village of Cambridge.

Officials in both villages said they want to implement cost-saving measures discovered since the original agreement was crafted in 2004.

The new agreement, which is in effect immediately, provides for better flexibility in the scheduling process and allows the villages to share officers more fluidly and with less overlap.

Police Chief George Bell, who oversees both village departments, said the measure could save each village thousands of dollars in payroll costs over the course of the year.

Each village maintains its own station house and its own vehicles, which are staffed by two full-time officers. Each village also draws from its own pool of part-time officers to provide nearly round-the-clock coverage. Both villages also share the same insurance carrier.

Under the new contract, officers have the ability to work in either village, though the new agreement calls for detailed quarterly reports documenting the amount of time officers spend in each village.

"It has to be equitable," Greenwich Mayor David Doonan said on Monday night.

If the time is not equal, then the village with the higher payroll hours will reimburse the other village, Doonan said.

The new intermunicipal agreement has been in the planning stages for a year and also calls for the formal creation of a police committee, with representatives from both villages and the police department.

Doonan said the new plan will be reviewed in one year, at which time a decision will be made to either revise or discontinue the agreement. He said the expectation, however, is to implement a new three-year contract when the current agreement expires, and to create a "truly combined" police department within five years, which would require an act of the state Legislature.

The villages lie about 10 miles apart, and each has a population of about 1,900.

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