Rockledge Police, Fire To Combine Forces, Will Now Operate as Rockledge Department of Public Safety
By Space Coast Daily // September 26, 2017
resulted from research conducted on other cities
BREVARD COUNTY • ROCKLEDGE, FLORIDA – Effective Monday, Oct. 2, the Rockledge Police Department and the Rockledge Fire Department will combine forces and begin operating as the Rockledge Department of Public Safety.
Merging the two departments resulted from research conducted on other cities, which have similar demographic profiles and are approximately the same size as Rockledge, that have consolidated their police and fire emergency services departments.
The idea had been discussed internally but was first presented in a public forum to the city council Finance and Budget Subcommittee in June as part of the fiscal year 2017-2018 budget process.
The subcommittee recommended approval to the full council, which occurred by unanimous vote in July.
“The other city council members and I took into account all of the research that went into bringing the concept forward, and we are very pleased with the outcome,” said Rockledge Mayor Tom Price.
“We believe that the transition will be seamless. Both fire and police personnel are very enthused about the change,” Mayor Price said.
Current Rockledge Fire Chief Tim Matson will retire in April 2018, and the position will not be filled.
“Because the administrative duties of both the fire and police departments will be combined, the city will see a reduction in costs,” said the first-ever director of the Department of Public Safety Joe LaSata.
“We are going to have a deputy chief to oversee each division – police and fire – of the new department,” LaSata said.
City Manager Dr. Brenda Fettrow expressed her support of the new department, while remaining mindful of the city’s charter.
“Our charter requires city council approval of any newly created departments,” said Fettrow.
“We were aware of that and went about establishing our new Department of Public Safety in an appropriate manner, receiving preliminary approval from the Finance and Budget Subcommittee, and then city council,” Fettrow said.
In the near future, work will begin to consolidate the two distinct pages on the city’s website, www.cityofrockledge.org, into one collective Department of Public Safety page.
Rockledge residents should continue to contact each division of the Department of Public Safety using their current telephone numbers, 321-221-7540 (fire) and 321-690-3988 (police), unless of course it is an emergency situation, in which case dial 9-1-1.
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