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Some changes could be coming to Orangeburg's Public Safety Department

These recommendations include hiring a battalion chief to oversee the fire service, and eliminating a requirement for dual certification.

ORANGEBURG, S.C. — The City of Orangeburg is proposing some changes to its Department of Public Safety

The city administrator says the goal is to make the department more competitive for recruiting.

One of the recommendations is hiring a battalion chief to oversee the fire service. 

“Our firefighters felt that there was no one at the command level, upper level, that represented or understood the nuances of professional firefighters," said Orangeburg police chief Charles Austin.

The battalion chief would report to Chief Austin along with all other command staff.

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Another recommendation includes doing away with the requirement of being dual certified as both a police officer and fire fighter, but incentivizing those who are dual certified.

“The primary driver behind that was that we were having potential recruits who did not want to necessarily be dually certified. In other words they didn’t want to be certified to be a police officer and in fire," said city administrator Sidney Evering.

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The city is also recommending establishing a lieutenant to oversee its forensics lab. 

According to Evering, these recommendations would not create a separation between the fire and police departments.

 He also says the recommendations are revenue neutral, meaning they are not expected to increase the Orangeburg Department of Public Safety's budget for the first three years. 

Any changes made to the department will have to be approved by the council.

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