Casady Asks City Council to Make Safety Director Position Permanent

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It's a job that oversees three city departments and soon, it may not exist.

Monday night, Public Safety Director, Tom Casady, asked the city council to make his position permanent.

He's the first public safety director in more than 40 years. Casady told the city council the results show the position is necessary.

Streamlining communication between police, fire and emergency crews. That's the purpose of a public safety director.

"It was something the mayor put in place a year and half ago. He felt like the fire department and police needed to work more closely together," said Carl Eskridge, City Council Chair.

"We consume half of the tax funded budget for the city. We have more than 760 employees so it's important this sector be well managed," Casady said.

Without the city council's vote, the position will end in June. But Casady believes he's done a good job showing why he should stick around.

"We've been meeting regularly and introducing new training to ensure we're doing a good job of working together," Casady said.

Casady has also helped keep the agencies' budgets on track; saving the city nearly $400,000 in the last year.

"I've been working with both my chiefs to make sure we're watching the budget closely. We've made some strategic cuts to positions," Casady said.

Even if the position is made permanent, it's city officials' hope the agencies will eventually be able to work together on their own.

"I'm not convinced it's something we need to do forever. I think it's a good thing for us to do at this point in time," Eskridge said.

"I'd like to think if these changes are here for a while they'd become part of the organizational culture," Casady said.