Fund Police & City Departments As Public Safety Team of All City Services & Resources; Combine Police, Fire, Crime Prevention, Community Services, & Emergency, & All City Services


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 public safety & community services departments as solution.
Consolidating police, fire, & emergency medical services into one dept.
Lack of research in public safety cross-training has hindered integration


Department of Public Safety (DPS), to become one single integrated unit.
Integration (or consolidation) takes the form of cross-training personnel.
Members perform the multiple functions that are required;
From a police officer, firefighter, and emergency medical technician (EMT) or paramedic.
Police officers are often 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, Community Services, & Police Department Looks Like:

CITY Services that are provided by Combined Public Safety Department:
• Fire services: provides fire prevention and suppression.
• Rescue services: provides rescue services.
• Haz-Mat services: provides hazardous materials response.
• Ambulance & emergency medical services (EMS): provides emergency medical care and transportation
• Policing Services, law enforcement, community policing & outreach.
• Emergency communications: operates the public interface emergency communications telephone system by providing the 9-1-1 numbers.
• 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
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, and existing programs

Cities that are combining Police & Fire & Services into Public Safety Dept:
Austin Tx
The DPS of Cobb County, Georgia
Sunnyvale CA
Newark NJ
Albuquerque NM
Kalamazoo, Michigan
Walker, MI
Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.

To Accomplish a Public Safety Organization:
Needs Leadership, Upgraded Selection Process, & Retraining [Upskilling]

A Package Deal: Police, Fire, and EMS All in One -

Public Safety Consolidation: Does it Make Sense? –

International City/County Management Association
Marc A. Ott is executive director
Cintya Flores, ICMA | 202-962-3692 |

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,-

Note: Reposted & Updated from original publishing in in November 2020 & Again on 06 10 22 [Publisher]

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