Starting next week, the Vermont town of Hartford will put the fire chief in charge of the police department.
Fire Chief Steve Locke will administer the police department. Town officials say it's an experiment; he won't have law-enforcement authority and won't carry a gun. But he'll manage the budgets for both departments create a succession plan for police chief.
The idea is to save money and to improve the coordination of public safety services.
Vermont Public Radio reports like other towns in the state, Hartford has had trouble attracting and keeping police officers. And Police Chief Glenn Cutting recently retired.
Similar consolidations are being tried in Bennington and Barre. In those towns, the police chief is in charge of the fire department.
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