Essex's police and crime commissioner is to become the first in the country to oversee the fire service as well.
Roger Hirst launched a public consultation into the plans back in February and later submitted proposals to the government.
Today (Tuesday), the Home Secretary approved the bid - paving the way for him to become England's first Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner from October 2017.
The government hopes the move will be the first of many around the country. Northamptonshire and Cambridgeshire's PCCs have already launched consultations into plans to merge the two functions while Norfolk's commissioner has also expressed an interest.
Policing and Fire Minister Nick Hurd visited Essex's fire headquarters to mark the Home Secretary's announcement.
The government hopes combining the governance of the two services will encourage more collaboration among police forces and fire crews - including sharing more premises and back-office functions.