The Chief of the Battle Creek Fire Department has announced he will be taking a leave of absence.

The City of Battle Creek made the disclosure Tuesday, and said that they would not go into details about Chief David Schmaltz’s leave out of respect for his privacy; Schmaltz says that he is taking time to “focus on his personal well-being and consider his future options.” Schmaltz has been fire chief since 2014.

While the Chief is gone, a time period that could last up to 6 months, Battle Creek Police Chief Jim Blocker will now also serve as director of the fire department. Chief Blocker says that he expects “no impact to our emergency response or operations” during this interim.

City Manager Rebecca Fleury also commented on Chief Schmaltz's leave, and said that she expects a "seamless" transition due to the professionalism of the firefighters in the BCFD. She also said that the city wants to work to ensure that every employee can find the success they want in both their professional and private lives.

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