The Fort Wayne Allen County Department of Homeland Security has been jointly funded since 2006.
In January, Mayor Tom Henry told Allen County commissioners he no longer wanted to help fund the joint Fort Wayne-Allen County Homeland Security. Today the Mayor sent Allen County commissioners a letter explaining why. The city says there are redundancies that can be eliminated by moving some responsibilities to the police and fire departments.
Allen County Commissioner Nelson Peters says he's disappointed with the city's decision. Peters said "It's too bas that a six year arrangement, one that really participated a lot of city and county cooperation in terms of a number of the other agreements has to end like this."
The city says there are duplications in services. They plan to add the responsibilities of the current joint homeland security director to the police and fire departments. In the letter Mayor Henry says quote ""In addition, there is no clear management oversight or reporting structure for the joint entity resulting in deficiencies and confusion."
The city says they're looking to save tax payer's money. But county officials say safety is still an issue. Peters said "My response would be, in doing that are you taking a police officer or are you taking a fire fighter out of the field." The city addresses that concern saying quote "The City feels confident that it is well prepared for emergency situations and that it is no longer necessary to have its own Director of Homeland Security."
County officials say cuts are inevitable. Peters said "The problem is looking into 2013, don't know what it's going to look like and when you take a $277,000 budget and shrink it down to $244,000 something is going to have to give."
The city agreed to give the county $45,000 so they can continue operating unaffected until the end of the year. County officials will meet Tuesday to discuss where cuts will be made for next year's budget. They say everything is on the table.