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  • Merging Police & Fire Depts?

    Our city is thinking of merging the police and fire department together and calling it a Department of Public Safety. We have heard of Highland Park Texas and DFW air port. Anyone know of any other departments that merged the two together. It would mean the police are trained to be firemen and firemen trained as police. If you know know of anywhere,
    pro and/or con, email me at [email protected]

    Tim Barlow
    Alamo Heights Tx

  • #2
    Thats interesting. I have never heard anything like that before and it sounds like it will cost a lot more money and time for the supposed DPS to train future Law/Firemen.

    Unless it's a rather small city I can't see the benifits outweighing the costs. Doesn't sound feasible but I have been known to be wrong.


    Mike

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    • #3
      Off the top of my head, Sunnyvale, CA has a Department of Public safety like that. I do not know anything about the program though.

      http://sunnyvale.ca.gov/Departments/Public+Safety/
      Hail hail the gang's all here, when the going gets tough I know my friends will still be there. - Drop Kick Murphys, "The Gang's all Here"

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      • #4
        I work for a Public Safety Department in Michigan. There are several such departments in the area with Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety being the largest in the nation with several hundred officers. The pros are that the city saves money in the long run. As opposed to having 4 full time firefighters and 4 full time officers you can get by with 6 full time public safety officers.

        Our agency runs 4 officers per shift. We have one sitting station and three on patrol. Essentially we are on patrol until a medical run or fire run. Then we go to the scene and if it is a fire we throw on fire gear that we carry in the trunk and switch to fire mode. If we are going to be out at the fire for a while we call in other full timers to cover the road. We also supplement the fire with on call part time firefighters. Not a bad gig if you ask me but then I came from a LEN and got into Public Safety. It would be hard to get a full time FF who works 9 days a month and gets paid to sleep to switch over to Public Safety.
        Anyone who believes "the customer is always right" has never been a police officer.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Kevin_Callahan
          I work for a Public Safety Department in Michigan. There are several such departments in the area with Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety being the largest in the nation with several hundred officers. The pros are that the city saves money in the long run. As opposed to having 4 full time firefighters and 4 full time officers you can get by with 6 full time public safety officers.
          That makes sense to me, like I said previously, in a smaller dept like yours with 6 offiers. I see how that could save money but in a larger area I don't think it could be nearly as effective.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Kevin_Callahan
            I work for a Public Safety Department in Michigan. There are several such departments in the area with Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety being the largest in the nation with several hundred officers. The pros are that the city saves money in the long run. As opposed to having 4 full time firefighters and 4 full time officers you can get by with 6 full time public safety officers.

            Our agency runs 4 officers per shift. We have one sitting station and three on patrol. Essentially we are on patrol until a medical run or fire run. Then we go to the scene and if it is a fire we throw on fire gear that we carry in the trunk and switch to fire mode. If we are going to be out at the fire for a while we call in other full timers to cover the road. We also supplement the fire with on call part time firefighters. Not a bad gig if you ask me but then I came from a LEN and got into Public Safety. It would be hard to get a full time FF who works 9 days a month and gets paid to sleep to switch over to Public Safety.
            How do you do the shifts? Times for LE and Fire, etc?

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            • #7
              I forgot to say how it would be cool to have the expierence from both sides..

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              • #8
                I believe there is a town in my area called Steilacoom that does that also....here's the URL... http://www.townofsteilacoom.com/town...lic_safety.htm
                Interesting but not common.
                "We have enough youth, how about a fountain of smart?"

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                • #9
                  What a horrible idea! Don't people realize that these are both needed SEPARATE entities?

                  They tried to combine Fire / EMS and is 90% of places it failed miserably. So now they are trying to mix Fire and RPD?

                  Don't get me wrong with a small town of less than 1000 people I can see it being benificial cost wise. BUT any time you train people in two specialties you lose the individual information base needed for each profession. Especially since each profession has such a wide specialized knowledge base. They are not two professions that even have anything similar except the emergency driving but even then it's a big difference in size of vehicle. The last thing you would want would be firefighters and officers who were not totally proficient in their job.

                  Just my opinion.

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                  • #10
                    re: combine firemen/LE

                    Not only that, what happens when you get several LE calls and a fire together or viceversa?

                    I can see it too in small cities with not too many calls but not on larger cities. Overhead to keep with all the calls will be a nightmare.

                    Ed Ortiz
                    Flight Technician
                    Maricopa County Sheriff Helicopter Posse

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                    • #11
                      There's a community near me, I'm not sure of the exact details. They are a Police/Combo department. They do 6 months on the Police job, then switch & do 6 months on the Fire side. They all have to be Fire-Medics so when they're cops for 6 months, they have ALS squads. When they are working the police, they are assigned 12 hour shifts. When they are on the fire side, they do the 24/48 shifts. They're a large suburb & have been doing it for a long time so it must work for them.
                      That's right, bring me my royal coffee!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by mrkoje
                        That makes sense to me, like I said previously, in a smaller dept like yours with 6 offiers. I see how that could save money but in a larger area I don't think it could be nearly as effective.

                        Uh..actually we have 16 full time PSO's. We have four shifts with four officers on each. One command officer and three PSO's. Shift A, B, C, and D. A & B shifts are days and B & D are nights. A & C are on the same rotation that runs as such. This week I work Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday and next week those are my days off. We work 12 hour shifts so its three days one week and four the next. We get every other weekend off so it is pretty cool that you don't have to wait to get high seniority to get weekends off. The following is a A/C shift work days. If A/C are off then B/D are on.

                        Week 1 mon, tue, fri, sat
                        Week 2 sun, wed, thu
                        Week 3 mon, tue, fri, sat
                        Week 4 sun, wed, thu
                        Last edited by Kevin_Callahan; 07-22-2005, 02:36 PM.
                        Anyone who believes "the customer is always right" has never been a police officer.

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                        • #13
                          we had a few agencies in broward county

                          coconut creek
                          oakland park

                          they tried it and it was a failure.....

                          both police and fire are separate..and it runs well....
                          " if you talk in your sleep, don't mention my name....
                          " if you walk in your sleep, forget where you came....

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                          • #14
                            Greenacres in Palm Beach FL is a Public safety department.

                            When I first went to the government, they wanted our VA hospital to be a PS department. The central office threatened to pull our badges and arrest authority.
                            I don't answer recruitment messages....

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Java King
                              There's a community near me, I'm not sure of the exact details. They are a Police/Combo department. They do 6 months on the Police job, then switch & do 6 months on the Fire side. They all have to be Fire-Medics so when they're cops for 6 months, they have ALS squads. When they are working the police, they are assigned 12 hour shifts. When they are on the fire side, they do the 24/48 shifts. They're a large suburb & have been doing it for a long time so it must work for them.

                              That would be GLENCOE. A very nice town. Very expensive but very small town. The Public Safety thing seems to work for them, but then again it is a very low call volume area for both police and fire.

                              Also in the Chicago area, i believe BENSENVILLE has some sort of cross-training program. the town of LANSING (Illinois) also has cross-training between police and EMS.

                              ROSEMONT (Illinois) has a Public Safety Dept, but the police side is supplemented by a huge number of Auxiliaries.

                              Later.
                              Christ, you know it ain't easy...

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