TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The city of Topeka said hello to Craig Duke Monday.
Duke officially took the reins as chief and will head the city’s 246-employee fire department.
“The idea is to push forward to make Topeka a better…safer place,” Duke said as he spoke to media on his first day.
The new chief said he wants to open lines of communication with the city in an effort to discover the needs of the community and push ideas forward.
So far, Duke told KSNT News he’s found a lack of quality applicants among those who want to join the fire department.
Duke said getting into the city’s schools and showing kids what the departments all about could be a beginning to improved recruitment efforts.
The department head will also focus on adding minorities to the ranks. He said finding public servants who are bilingual can be an asset in times when people may fear someone in uniform or who need help communicating on scene.
With plenty still to learn, Duke said he’s been welcomed to Topeka with open arms and looks forward to calling the city home.