Commissioners Seek Closer Ties for Fire Dept. and the Police
By WILLIAM K. RASHBAUM

The commissioners of the New York City Police and Fire Departments said yesterday that for the first time they would exchange liaison officers and carry out specialized training together. The moves, they said, are intended to improve communications between the two agencies, but may also ease the tensions that have long divided some of their members.

The effort by Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly and Nicholas Scoppetta, the fire commissioner, was prompted in part by miscues after the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center, officials said. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is expected to announce the new arrangement next week.

As part of the plan, the Police Department will also begin to take senior Fire Department operations officials on orientation flights in police helicopters next week so they can eventually use them to better observe major fires and other incidents, officials said.

"We are the two biggest emergency response entities and we need to be able to talk on an ongoing basis on a whole myriad of issues," Mr. Kelly said. "I think it's now time, post-9/11, to leave whatever rivalries there are on the ice or on the football field," he added, referring to the annual hockey and football matches between the departments. "We've just got simply to work more closely, simply for the benefit of the people of the city."

Mr. Scoppetta, who noted that he and Mr. Kelly meet frequently, said that with the city facing new challenges