Hamburg Township has officially consolidated their police and fire department administrative offices into one.

At Tuesday night’s meeting of the Board of Trustees, Hamburg Township officials voted unanimously to establish a Public Safety Administration. The recent retirement of former Fire Chief Mark Hogrebe, along with the departure of two administrative assistants gave the township the opportunity to explore how to make emergency services more efficient. Police Chief Rick Duffany and then-interim Fire Chief Nick Miller were tasked with reviewing the current structure and coming up with a model that would allow them to be more effective. Their conclusion was that a consolidation of administrative services would help deliver better service while not sacrificing the technical expertise of either department. Chief Duffany is excited to have cross-trained assistants and says they will be a benefit to the township. Where previously the respective departments had no interaction or similar job tasks, now there will be 3 assistants who can do it all.

It should be noted that the Public Safety Administration in Hamburg is not a consolidation of both police and fire into a single safety department. They will remain separate and distinct. It is only the administrative functions that will be unified. Within its structure, Police Chief Duffany will lead the PSA as Director of Public Safety. He will have 2 Deputy Directors; one being Chief Miller for the Fire Department side, and Duffany’s current Deputy Chief on the Police side. The Chief of Police will never run the day-to-day activities or operational functions of the fire department. That responsibility remains exclusively with the Fire Chief.It is the belief of officials that these changes will allow the fire department to increase services on the operational side, without increasing the number of employees, or cost to residents. (MK)