BOLINGBROOK, Ill. (STMW) — Bolingbrook plans to combine the duties of police chief and fire chief into one position.

When village trustees finalize the upcoming budget for May 1, Police Chief Kevin McCarthy will also take over administrative duties for the fire department.

“This is simply a cost-saving measure,” Mayor Roger Claar said Wednesday. “The same thing is also happening in public works and community development. The person in charge of the newly combined departments will run both departments.”

Claar said saving money from the budget was the only reason for merging the jobs and he will continue looking to “streamline” village management.

Fire Chief David Litton is expected to retire when McCarthy comes in.

“I was approached a few weeks ago about taking the position and said, ‘Of course, I’ll do it,’ ” McCarthy said Wednesday.

Police chief since 2008, McCarthy has 29 years of experience in law enforcement but none in firefighting.

But McCarthy said Deputy Fire Chief Trinedad Garza and the battalion chiefs will continue supervising everything but administrative duties.

“The chief’s job is not to fight fires, it’s to get everyone what they need to do those jobs,” McCarthy said. While acknowledging the frontline tasks are completely different, McCarthy said there are many similarities in administering both departments.

McCarthy said the village has not decided on a title for the first chief of both services in the area. Rosemont operates a Public Safety Department, the members of which have police, firefighting and paramedic experience.

McCarthy said there are no plans for cross-training employees as officers and firefighters in Bolingbrook.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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