NEWARK - Newark Mayor Ras Baraka is shaking up the city's public safety agencies.
Baraka announced Monday that Newark's police, fire, emergency management and homeland security departments will be combined under the Department of Public Safety.
Baraka says the changes will increase efficiency and response times, cut costs and make for better intelligence sharing. He estimated the city would save between $500,000 and $600,000.
The consolidation will eliminate several top-level positions including fire director and police director. Baraka appointed current Essex County chief of detectives Anthony Ambrose to the post of public safety director.
Baraka says he was partly motivated by an uptick in violent crime in Newark this year. While property crimes are down compared to 2014, violent crimes such as rape and murder have increased.