Iowa Town To Replace Firefighters With Public Safety Officers

During a heated meeting Thursday night the Cedar Falls City council voted 5 to 2 to slowly start replacing firefighters with Public Safety Officers or PSO's.

The fire and police departments got a chance to voice their opinions, along with many others, ahead of the vote.

KCRG-TV 9 reports that back in 2014 Cedar Falls approved combining the roles of police and firefighters, calling them public safety officers. The city hoped this would save money and increase the number of responders.

But many have criticized the change. KCRG-TV 9 says city council and city leaders took different positions on the PSO program and dozens of community members wore red to protest the idea.

Many firefighters have quit over the program, saying they don't feel safe working with PSO's.

A referral was added to the end of the agenda which adds a task force to oversee the new department and operations.

(Photo: KCRG-TV 9)

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