Public Safety Management

Learn the basic principles of service delivery in public safety.

ICMA is committed to providing workshops that are affordable, accessible, and designed to meet the specific needs of local government professionals. By partnering with localities, state associations, and universities in the delivery of these programs, we are able to reduce travel costs and provide high-quality workshops.

To reserve a workshop email:
Half-day workshops: $3,960 for states with a signed affiliation agreement with ICMA for up to 50 participants. Non-affiliated states pay an additional fee.


Workshop: Unresolved Racial Issues

Riots in Ferguson, Baltimore, and Charlotte appear to be about police and race relations; however, police do not exist in isolation.  Police are a reflection of larger society. Evidence suggests three critical areas that, over time, contribute to a city’s risk of social unrest:
racial discrimination, economic disparity, and disproportionality and abuse in police action.
These factors create the conditions where a police shooting – whether justified or not -- at the wrong time could be the spark. 
Fueled by social media and television coverage, the flames can burn through the night, fed by misleading or grossly inaccurate information.
This workshop explores (1) how these three factors (discrimination, disparity, and disproportionality) interconnect, (2) an approach to a city’s self-analysis, and (3) tools to mitigate the risk of social unrest. (Practices 2 - Community Engagement; 3- Equity and Inclusion; 6- Strategic Leadership;  7 - Strategic Planning; 14- Communication and Information Sharing)

Workshop: Asking Your Police and Fire Chief the Right Questions to Get the Right Answers

How many police and firefighters do you really need? How well are your public safety departments performing? Are "officers per 1,000" and "number of calls" really meaningful measures? As a local government manager, you have to make policy decisions based on information you get from the different departments. The toughest departments from which to get accurate, measurable information are the police and fire departments. Police and fire chiefs have their own jargon—and few city managers have training in emergency services management. The key is asking the right questions so that you get the right answers.

In this workshop, you will learn how to: establish goals and priorities and know what you need to analyze; quantify what the workloads are in the police and fire departments—and identify whether personnel are allocated correctly to meet the workload demands; get your police department to be able to tell you what percentage of its officers’ time is tied up on actual calls; identify the number of firefighters and amount of equipment that is really necessary; deal with low use of firefighters; and set measurable goals, identify performance problems, and apply strategies to follow the path of continuous improvement. (Practice Group 7 - Strategic Planning)

Workshop: Understanding the Public Safety Concept: Forecasting the Outcome of Police-Fire Mergers

Many local government managers have considered the possibility of consolidating police and fire services. The public safety concept, where some or all personnel are dual trained and respond to both police and fire calls although attractive from an efficiency standpoint, is one of the most politically controversial ideas a manager can champion.

Many local governments are spending over 60% of their operating budgets on police and fire services. Facing the “new normal” with little likelihood  that revenues will increase in the foreseeable future, local government are revisiting the idea of merging police and fire services into one department and training public safety officers who can provide patrol and respond to fires.

This workshop will provide attendees with tools for gauging the benefits of a police/fire merger

Attendees will learn;

  • The history of the public safety concept
  • What the issues are surrounding a merger
  • The key decisions to be made
  • How to assess and overcome environmental barriers to a consolidation.
  • What opposition to expect from a proposal to consolidate and the consequences to the manager.
  • The impact on costs and performance of a merger.
  • Case studies of successful and unsuccessful merger efforts.
  • How long it takes and what techniques to use to implement a merger.

After the session, the instructors will be available to meet with attendees to provide a review of the specific issues in their communities.

After completion of this workshop attendees will have a better understanding of risks and benefits of a merger. (Practice Groups:4- Staff Effectiveness, 6- Strategic Leadership; 7- Strategic Planning;  and 13- Human Resources Management and Worksforce Engagement)

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Related Resources

ICMA University webinars | Public Safety 
ICMA Bookstore | Public & Community Safety
Research and Technical Assistance | Center for Public Safety Management, LLC
About ICMA's Practices for Effective Local Government Leadership

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