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Buena Vista Township won't merge police, fire departments for now

(WJRT)
Published: Jan. 8, 2020 at 5:56 PM EST
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(1/8/2020) - Buena Vista Township will not create a combined public safety department -- at least for the near future.

Township leaders announced the decision Wednesday after residents in the township spoke out against the proposal.

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Township Manager Torrie McAfee said the township is concentrating on negotiations with police officers right now as they try to hammer out a new contract. She said reducing pension costs is one of the sticking points.

Township leaders had been discussing a plan to merge the police and fire departments into a combined public safety department. Some police officers and firefighters would be cross-trained to do both jobs.

The township was proposing a combined department with seven full-time firefighters, six cross-trained public safety officers, three full-time police officers and 20 paid on-call firefighters.

With Wednesday's announcement, plans to merge the departments won't proceed for the foreseeable future.

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