Police, fire under revised management

Sunday Times Newspapers

TRENTON — City officials announced last month an administrative reorganization for police and fire services, and appointments including the promotion of Police Chief James Nardone to director of Police and Fire Services.

City Manager Jim Wagner said the strategy continues the city’s proactive approach to streamlining its budget.

“We’re trying to consolidate administration,” Wagner said. “The mayor and administrators thought this would be a good way.”

City council on Oct. 28 approved an ordinance creating the new position as part of a public safety reorganization. The appointment of Nardone was joined by the promotion of Deputy Police Chief Steven Voss to Chief, and Fire Marshal Jeffrey Evans will serve as fire chief, the position last held by Bruce Vick, who retired in October. With retirements and resignations, Wagner said that management positions were reduced under the new model.

“We went from five administrators to three,” Wagner said. “Things have changed the way you deliver police and fire service over the past 20 years, and we think it’s a win-win situation.”

Wagner said the previous models of police and fire have evolved into firefighters cross-training as EMS workers, fire marshals handling code enforcement and other merged responsibilities. The city — as with most in the region and state — struggled with declining revenues to provide the same services.

“It’s a tough market, and we’re faced with fiscal restraints,” Wagner said. “We’re trying to save on administration so we can keep a police officer or firefighter working.”

(James Mitchell can be reached at jmitchell@bewickpublications.com.)