Mayor Chris Beutler today announced his appointments of Interim Police Chief Jim Peschong and Interim Fire Chief John Huff to City Director positions. Peschong was named to the interim position in May 2011 when former Police Chief Tom Casady was named Public Safety Director to oversee the Lincoln Police Department (LPD), Lincoln Fire and Rescue (LFR) and 911 Emergency 911 Communications. Huff has been Interim Fire Chief since April 2011.
"The new management model has accomplished just what we hoped it would," Mayor Beutler said. "We have better coordination among Fire, Police and 911 resulting in cost savings. New ideas are emerging to provide better service. The new model will continue to provide the highest levels of efficiency and cooperation among our public safety agencies."
Both Peschong and Huff will retire from their current positions before their new appointments take effect. Because they will receive pension benefits, their salaries in the new positions will be 50 to 60 percent of their current salaries. Beutler said the amount of their annual defined benefit pension payouts was subtracted from their current salaries to determine their new salaries.
"It was important to this administration, and John and Jim concurred, that it would not be acceptable to have them retire and draw a City pension, and then be rehired and draw a salary comparable to what they are making today," Beutler said. "As much as we valued and wanted to keep these two men, that double-dipping did not seem appropriate."
Peschong's appointment will be effective February 2, 2013. He joined LPD as a beat officer in 1975, and his career has included work in internal affairs and as a detective, Captain and Assistant Chief. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy. His current salary is about $134,200, and his new salary will be about $68,400.
Huff's appointment will be effective September 7, 2012. He has worked for LFR since 1974 and has served as a firefighter, company officer Deputy Chief and Assistant Chief. He has been active in Nebraska Task Force 1, the Urban Search and Rescue Team based at LFR, and he has completed the National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer Program. His current salary is about $137,700, and his new salary will be about $77,900.