Buena Vista Charter Township no longer is considering a proposal to merge its police and fire departments after hearing public backlash to the plan, the township superintendent said.
The proposal considered by Buena Vista’s Board of Trustees would have created a new public safety department with some police officers cross-trained to respond to fires, eliminated some fire jobs and hired more part-time, on-call firefighters to maintain services.
“As of right now, the Board of Trustees is taking that (proposal) off the table,” township Superintendent Torrie McAfee said.
The township currently is negotiating with its police union, McAfee said. To fix the budget issues that prompted the proposal, the hope now is that something changes at the bargaining table, she said.
The proposed merger was tabled after community concern at a recent board meeting, after which a town hall was scheduled to explain the proposal and solicit ideas. Those in attendance were strongly opposed to the plan.