Mound police officers may be changing their uniforms next year to join Minnetrista's Police Department as part of a budget-saving move.
Officials from both cities met Wednesday to discuss a preliminary contract in which Minnetrista would provide police service to Mound beginning Jan. 1. The neighboring cities have discussed the merger for more than a year.
Under the terms of the deal, Minnetrista would hire nearly all of Mound's officers and would receive the city's eight squad cars and other equipment.
Each police department now has about 15 employees, and the combined force would number 27.
Minnetrista City Administrator Mike Funk estimated the changes would save about $300,000 annually.
"We're not looking at trying to reduce services, but to retain and improve the services we have today at a better efficiency," he said.
Funk expects talks to continue for a few weeks before a final contract goes to both city councils for approval.