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Jersey City’s New Mayor Proposes Police, Fire Merger

Mayor Steve Fulop Took Part In Fire Training Exercise Tuesday
Jersey City Mayor's Office (credit: Steve Scott / WCBS 880)

Jersey City Mayor’s Office (credit: Steve Scott / WCBS 880)

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JERSEY CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – The new mayor of New Jersey’s second largest city wants to merge the police and fire departments as a way to cut costs and streamline services.

Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop’s ordinance will be introduced during a hearing on Wednesday.

Fulop has already announced the creation of a public safety department that would be led by New York City police veteran James Shea.

Fulop believes combining the departments would result in an initial savings of $350,000.

Councilman Richard Boggiano, who is a former Jersey City police officer, tells The Jersey Journal the merger is a foolish move. Boggiano says the two departments don’t get along and he doesn’t think there will be savings.

Seven of the nine council members ran on Fulop’s slate.

Meantime, Fulop, a 36-year-old former Marine, took part in a training exercise with probationary firefighters at the Morris County Fire Training Facility on Tuesday.

As WCBS 880’s Sean Adams reported, Fulop manned a hose in a controlled burn room as fire lapped at the ceiling just above his head.

When he emerged from the burning structure, his khakis and blue dress shirt were soaked with sweat, Adams reported.

“It’s hot in there, it’s hard work. It’s, I’ve never experienced anything like this before and I have a new appreciation for the work these guys do. From an outside spectator’s standpoint, it’s certainly one thing, and then when you actually go in there and you feel the heat, you feel the force of the hose, it’s hard to hear people, it’s hard to see, you have a different appreciation for what they’re doing,” Fulop said.

The mayor added working with the firefighters has given him insight that will guide his work as mayor.

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(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)