PUBLIC SAFETY & SECURITY
Communities need & want protection, prevention, public safety, and policing.
There are efforts in some states & cities to defund & reduce police departments.
Meantime several cities have created combined public safety departments as solution.
Consolidating police, fire, & emergency medical services into one dept–Not defunding Police.
Lack of research in public safety cross-training has hindered integration
Department of Public Safety (DPS), to become one single integrated civic unit.
Integration (or consolidation) means taking on the cross-training personnel.
City officials perform the multiple functions that are required.
Police officers, firefighters, & emergency medical technicians (EMT) or paramedics cross trained
Cross-training usually limited to functions directly related to law enforcement.
Fire or medical incident teams support police officers performing only security or basic first aid.
To Accomplish a Public Safety Organization: [Advocated by Bill Bratton, Former NYC Police Commissioner)
Needs Leadership, Upgraded Selection Process, & Retraining [Upskilling]
What a Combined Public Safety & Police Department Looks Like:
CITY Services that are being 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, z
Sworn personnel remain specialized and have particular responsibilities.
The Police continue to arrest people and the firefighters put out fires.
Police officers, firefighters and/or EMTs, cross trained.
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
Several cities that are combining Police & Fire & Services into Public Safety Dept:
The DPS of Cobb County, Georgia
Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.
Public Safety Consolidation: Does it Make Sense? – https://leb.fbi.gov/articles/perspective/perspective-public-safety-consolidation-does-it-make-sense
International City/County Management Association – Marc A. Ott is executive director, 800.745.8780; firstname.lastname@example.org
Cintya Flores, ICMA | 202-962-3692 | email@example.com
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