Dept. of Public Safety no more; Grants Pass Police and Fire-Rescue separate

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — The Grants Pass ‘Department of Public Safety’ is no more.

The police department and fire department are separating into their own entities for the first time in nearly 40 years.

The Department of Public Safety was established in 1984.

The idea was to cross-train police officers and firefighters so they could be interchangeable for emergencies.

Police Chief Warren Hensman says he will remain Chief of Police and will overlook 911 services.

He says the deputy fire chief is acting as fire chief until retiring later this month. Meanwhile, the search for a new fire chief is ongoing.

Chief Hensman says the separation is a fantastic move.

“The fire-rescue world and the police community has just become so much more specialized and advanced over the years and it’s truly the correct way to move to bring a fire chief and a police chief respectively,” he said.

Grants Pass City Manager, Aaron Cubic, said at a recent council meeting that a new fire chief could also take over the Grants Pass Emergency Management team.

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