Scottsdale police, fire departments merging to save money

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Police and firefighters in Scottsdale are joining forces in an effort to save the city money.

The city is planning to combine it police and fire departments into one new public safety department.

According to Scottsdale’s city manager, administrative staff from the two departments will be combined as much as possible.

City officials said  move is an administrative one and residents should not experience any changes in service.

Scottsdale Police Chief Alan Rodbell will initially run both departments as public safety administrator while keeping his position as police chief. Rodbell, who has been the chief of police since 2003, said the idea is to streamline leadership and share resources.

City Manager David Richert said the merger is expected to save more than $1 million on the fire side. Rodbell is being tasked with finding comparable savings on the police side.

Once the next phase of next year’s budget is in place, the city will hire a new fire chief. That position has been open since Willie McDonald moved to San Jose last July. Two assistant chiefs have been rotating in the interim.