Shore town considers consolidating public safety -

Shore town considers consolidating public safety

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Officials in Brigantine are wrestling with the idea of eliminating three critical public safety positions and replacing them with just one public safety director.

When the call goes out, we hope the most qualified are there to respond, but some public safety officials in Brigantine are worried if a city council plan to eliminate the chiefs of police, fire and beach patrol goes through that might not be the story.

"The pros of it would that there is a potential to for the municipality to save money but the cons would be something I'm very concerned about it its impact on public safety and our ability to fight fires," acting fire chief James Hall said.

The president of the brigantine PBA is singing the same tune.

"You need a chief of police to lead the department. Chief of police is governed by state law, the attorney generals office where as a public safety director won't be able to do the same job as a police chief," Rick DeLeon said.

City Council is looking into the idea of cutting the three top spots in public safety to create one director of public safety who would oversee all three departments.

"We want to understand all of the pros and cons of it and if public safety considerations are in play, that being that maybe there would be some risk that its not as safe to have a public safety director then we are going to give that the appropriate weight,"4th ward city councilman Rick Delucry said.

The plan could save hundreds of thousands of dollars, but a public safety director would be a civilian and not a sworn officer which, according to the PBA would only allow them to do half the job.

City officials say this plan is in the very early stages of exploration and they will continue to study what is best for the city in the coming months. If you would like to voice your opinion there is a city council meeting Wednesday night at 6 PM.

In addition to Wednesday's city council meeting, there will also be a presentation by the state chiefs of police at the March 20th council meeting.

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