ICMA Police and Fire Studies Presented to City Council Public Safety Committee

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Flint, Michigan – January 22, 2015 The Center for Public Safety Management (CPSM) today presented the results of the Police and Fire studies to the City of Flint Public Safety Committee. CPSM is the exclusive provider of Public Safety Technical Assistance for the International City/County Management Association (ICMA). These studies were contracted by former Emergency Manager Darnell Earley in 2014.

Emergency Manager Gerald Ambrose issued this statement on the studies:

This process provided an in-depth review, by a set of public safety professionals, on how our Police and Fire Departments are managed. The recommendations which followed range from improvements in training and record-keeping to changes in the types of response provided for calls for service.

Both the Police and Fire departments are evaluating these recommendations and will use these as guidelines for the development of up-coming revisions to the City’s Strategic Plan.  We still have severe limitations on the available revenue for public safety services.These studies provide recommendations on changes the departments can use to operate within those budget limits.

It does not mean that all of the recommendations in these studies will be implemented right away, though some of the recommendations made sense for immediate implementation. For example, work is underway in the Fire Department to reduce turn-out time; this reduces overall response time.  Also, firefighter training and education plans are being updated. In the Police Department the recommendations are much more extensive.

Both our Police patrol function and investigative functions have heavy demands which are beyond the capability of our current staff to address in a traditional manner. The CPSM recommendations include aggressive protocols for responding to calls for service. For example, “Flint Police should cease an immediate response to any calls received through 911 that are not reports of crimes in progress or do not involve immediate and critical life and death emergencies.” Such a drastic recommendation needs to be thoroughly evaluated and considered by the community before any such implementation takes place.

It is no surprise to anyone that our Police and Fire personnel do an outstanding job of protecting our community with such limited resources. And while these are harsh recommendations, we need to be clear that no new sources of funds are available to add more police and firefighters on a sustainable basis.  Both Chief Cox and Chief Tolbert will work with the City Council Public Safety Committee as they evaluate these recommendations and as they plan the next two year budget.

Studies available below:

CPSM Flint Police Operational Report

CPSM Flint Fire and EMS Operational Report

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Kristin Moore

About the Author:

Kristin Moore is the Public Information/Communications Director for the City of Flint. She spent years working as a TV news reporter and anchor in and outside of Michigan. A Flint native, Kristin is excited to now be part of the team working to move Flint forward!
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