A BAD PROPOSITION FOR THE NEW YORK FIRE DEPARTMENT.
ONE of the possible changes involved in the charter of the Greater New York, which will be submitted to the next legislature, will be giving the control of the police and fire departments to the board of aldermen instead of keeping them subject to statutory regulations from Albany, as is now the case. Where officials of these two departments are to be regarded, the pay is to be increased, the force enlarged, or other change made, such relief is asked from the legislature; but hereafter it is proposed, applications for such measures shall be made to the board of aldermen or councilmen in the Greater New York. Such a preposterous alteration ought never to be conceived. Should it come into force, we have no hesitation in predicting that the fire department of the city will deteriorate into a mere political mill, and its discipline be greatly impaired, if not absolutely destroyed. There should be only one head, namely, the chief engineer, with a commissioner as his executive officer to administer the affairs of the department. If the board of aldermen has anything to do with the workings of the two important branches of the city government mentioned above, it will be the inauguration of a system that may lead to their demoralization. The friends of good and efficient municipal service ought to see that no clause handing over the fire and police departments to the board of aldermen is inserted in the proposed new charter.