Fire Safety Division to get ax, senator reports

TRENTON – Gov. Chris Christie has proposed a plan to get rid of the Fire Safety Division in the Department of Community Affairs, and divvying up that division’s responsibilities among other state employees, a state senator said today.

At least one lawmaker, Sen. Jim Whelan, (D-2), of Atlantic City is critical of the proposal, largely because there has been no public discussion.
He added today that the proposal comes on top of massive cuts municipalities already had to make this year in the ranks of police and firefighters due to budget constraints.

“The governor’s budget has already done enough to harm towns in New Jersey in terms of public safety,” Whelan said in a statement today. “Now his administration wants to eliminate Fire Safety and send its responsibilities zigzagging through a maze of government bureaucracy. It just does not make any sense to me.”

Hollie Gilroy, a spokesperson for DCA, confirmed that a reorganization is being discussed. She pointed out that recent reorganizations have taken place in other areas, such as affordable housing (COAH) and the Office of Planning Advocacy.

However, she added they are still in the preliminary stages and no decisions have been made yet.

“As we consider increasing efficiencies and decreasing redundancies in government, the number one priority will always be the people the department is charged with protecting and serving,” she said in a statement.

Fire Safety Division to get ax, senator reports