ICMA e-Book on Public Safety Challenges: 5 Key Takeaways

BLOG POST | Dec 13, 2016

Local government leaders and staff face disruptive challenges each and every day. And public safety challenges are among the most critical—gun violence, use-of-force incidents, body-worn cameras, attacks on police officers, evolutionary changes in fire/EMS and emergency response services.

ICMA’s new, complimentary e-book provides advice, lessons learned, and case examples from cities and counties that have met the challenges of change and disruption. It brings together articles from ICMA’s PM Magazine and the ICMA website written by thought leaders in local government and public safety management and experts on the front lines.

Here are five key takeaways from the e-book for meeting and overcoming disruptive challenges:

  • Collaborate. Whatever the challenge, involve multiple stakeholders in decision making and implementation. Outreach, engagement, and collaboration involving staff, elected officials, unions, and residents lay the groundwork for success, whether the issue is body-worn cameras, drug abuse prevention, violent crime, or another challenge that arises unexpectedly.
  • Build Trust. Build trust within the organization and with community before you’re faced with a crisis. Establish lines of communication through face-to-face interactions, open meetings, and other relationship-building opportunities. And use traditional and social media channels.
  • Harness Nontraditional Resources. Look for solutions and resources that go beyond traditional public safety approaches. Many public safety issues can be addressed by harnessing the knowledge and experience of experts and practitioners in such fields as public health, technology, research and education.
  • Innovate. Be ready and willing to innovate in response to challenges. Fire and EMS services, in particular, are continually evolving in staffing and deployment patterns, types of incidents requiring response, and changes introduced by the Affordable Care Act. And police face new crises that require creative tactics and strategies.
  • Stay Involved. When faced with a crisis, demonstrate your personal involvement as a leader—whether you’re the city manager, police chief, fire chief, or other responsible official. Participate in simulation training, support first responders during the crisis, take care of victims and their loved ones, provide for the needs of the media, and attend to the human needs of employees and residents.

For more, download the e-book here.


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