Communities want protection, prevention, public safety, and policing.
There are efforts in some states & cities to defund & reduce police departments.
Several smaller cities have instead created public safety departments.
Have consolidated police, fire, & emergency medical & other services into one dept.
Lack of empirical research in public safety cross-training has hindered integration.
Department of Public Safety (DPS), to become one single integrated unit in city government.
Integration (or consolidation) takes the form of on-going cross-training of personnel.
Members perform the multiple functions required of a police officer, firefighter, & emergency medical technician (EMT) or paramedic.
Police officers are being cross-trained to perform multiple functions.
Cross-training usually limited to functions directly related to law enforcement.
Fire or medical incident, police officers perform only security or basic first aid.
What a Combined Public Safety & Police Department Looks Like:
Here are the CITY Services that are provided by Combined Public Safety Department:
- Fireservices: provides fire prevention and suppression.
- Rescueservices: provides rescue services.
- Haz-Matservices: provides hazardous materials response.
- Ambulance& emergency medical services (EMS): provides emergency medical care and transportation
- PolicingServices, law enforcement, community policing &
- Emergency communications: operates the public interface emergency communications telephone system by providing the 9-1-1
- Office of Emergency Management(OEM): plans for and operates the Emergency Operations Center -Calamities, disasters, & emergencies.
- Inspections and code enforcement: usually building safety, which includes construction, electrical et al.and/or vehicle inspections.
- Animal control: Includes wildlife officers, game wardens, & dog catchers.
- Disaster planning
- Emergency preparedness
- Traffic Management
Administration of New Combined Department:
New department shares administrative support staff and back-office functions,
Sworn personnel remain specialized and have particular responsibilities
The Police continue to arrest people and the firefighters put out fires.
But Police officers, firefighters and/or EMTs, cross trained.
New Dept responds to emergencies in any capacity as one single unit.
Works best when based on the community’s character, composition, size, geographic location, & existing programs
Examples of Cities that are combining Public Safety & Police:
The DPS of Cobb County, Georgia
Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.
Public Safety Consolidation: Does it Make Sense? –
International City/County Management Association
Marc A. Ott is executive director
Cintya Flores, ICMA | 202-962-3692 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Susan M. Hilal, Associate Professor, Metropolitan State University School of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice, Brooklyn Park, Minnesota
David Squier Jones, Research Assistant, Metropolitan State University School of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice, Brooklyn Park, Minnesota
Agencies & cities considering consolidation should review Michigan State University’s Program on Police Consolidation and Shared Departments,- https://msustatewide.msu.edu/Programs/Details/3480