Trelka chooses leaders of Police and Fire Departments - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Trelka chooses leaders of Police and Fire Departments

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -- Tuesday afternoon, Waterloo firefighters rushed to respond to a call, while a few blocks away, police were on their way to the same emergency. It happens in almost every emergency.

"Police and fire have always worked together in the field, I think you're going to see us work together more behind the scenes," said Joe Liebold, the new Captain of Police Services.

Pat Treloar is now the Chief of Fire Services, while Liebold is the second-in-command at the Police Department.

"The bottom line is, we simply want to provide the community with a better service at a more effective cost," said Dan Trelka, Waterloo's Director of Safety Services.

The change saves Waterloo about $100,000, but the demotion of the fire chief in December left a void for firefighters.

"In the last few months we've been under the direction of Battalion Chief Jenn, who was our interim chief, acting chief if you want to call it that," said Treloar.

The news comes as a relief for many folks at the fire department. Trelka said they've been in limbo for several months, waiting to hear who would be appointed as their new department head.

"The firefighters have been so incredibly easy for me to have a dialogue with, and I appreciate that," said Trelka.

The new system will take some getting used to for all three department heads.

"We were all accustomed to our chain of command, they were accustomed to theirs. Now there's a new level in there that we're going to have to deal with and decide what's handled here, what's handled there," said Liebold.

But Trelka believes, Waterloo could become a model for other communities looking to save money, without impacting the safety of a community.

"We want others to look at us, to see how we're providing services to the community, and use us as a template," he said.

Trelka, Liebold and Treloar will meet at least once a week. While the community may not see a change immediately in emergency response, the trio believes Waterloo will benefit in the long-run from this combined team.

Online Reporter Colleen O'Shaughnessy

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