In 2015, Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka launched his vision to consolidate Police, Firefighters, and Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security personnel under the newly created Department of Public Safety. The merger enhances public safety by making the operations of these essential services more efficient and effective. In 2022, Mayor Baraka tapped Fritz Fragé to serve as Newark’s Public Safety Director. He oversees nearly 2,000 city employees, including 1,100 police officers, 650 firefighters, and over 350 civilian employees, all dedicated to serving the residents and visitors of the City of Newark with the utmost in public safety excellence.

Meet the Leaders

Fire Chief Del Ortiz

Newark Fire Chief Del Ortiz is a native Newarker and a 1989 graduate of Sacred Heart High School.

He joined the Newark Fire Division in 2002 and was initially assigned to Engine 11 & Ladder 11, located at 345 South 9th Street, where he served for 11 years. Due to Chief Ortiz’s quick-thinking and astute leadership skills, he was promoted to Captain in 2013 and to Battalion Chief in 2021, overseeing seven fire companies.

Trained as a Hazardous Materials Technician, Chief Ortiz served the past 11 years at Engine 10, Ladder 5, Rescue 1, located at 360 Clinton Avenue.

He was named Newark Fire Chief on October 1, 2023.

Meet the Leaders

Captain Kenya Dunham

Captain Kenya Dunham is Executive Officer of the Newark Fire Division. He joined the Division in March 2006 and was initially assigned to Ladder 5, located at 360 Clinton Avenue. He was promoted to Captain in June 2022 and is certified in Urban Search and Rescue.

Meet the Leaders

Battalion Chief Marshall Richardson

Battalion Chief Marshall Richardson joined the Newark Fire Division in February 2002. His first assignment was at Ladder 12, located at 420 Sanford Avenue. He was promoted to Captain in September 2016 and rose to the rank of Battalion Chief in January 2023. He is trained as an arson investigator and fire inspector and currently serves as the Newark Fire Division’s Chief of