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.

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: Enhancing the Relationship Between the Manager and Chief

American policing faces a crisis of community confidence. Far too many people question whether local police departments are truly committed to their safety and justice in the wake of highly publicized incidents of police misconduct, abuse of force and poor judgment. And yet in most communities, police officers carry out their work with professionalism, effectiveness and respect for those they serve.

This two-day training is offered to teams of police chiefs and city managers to learn the lessons of some of the most notorious recent incidents and, more importantly, the best practices of 21st century policing. Through structured information sharing and discussion, chiefs and managers will be able to assess their police departments and develop short range action plans to improve local policing for enhanced community confidence and legitimacy.

This workshop is limited to 20 participants. We encourage you to sponsor both your Police Chiefs and City Managers for this workshop. The investment in this training will strengthen this crucial relationship and lead to better policing for local communities. (Practices 1- Personal and Professional Integrity; 2- Community Engagement;  3- Staff Effectiveness; 14- Communication and Information Sharing)

Workshop: Exploring the History of Institutional Racism: Creating a Path to Racial Understanding

In a 2016 survey, the Pew Research Center found that 45% of Whites thought that race relations are generally bad in the U.S., compared with 61% of Blacks/African Americans. 41% of Whites also thought that too much attention was being paid to racial issues, compared with only 22% of Blacks/African Americans. Similar gaps in perceptions between the races are reflected in numerous surveys.  For example, Pew found that half of whites think that blacks are treated less fairly than whites by police, a disturbingly high number; however, 84% of Blacks/African Americans think that they are treated unfairly by police. Similar gaps exist around fairness in the courts, applying for a loan, and in the workplace.

What is the origin of these differences? Evidence suggests that historical, legalized racial discrimination by government – including local governments -- has resulted in different life experiences.  For people not subject to discrimination, the issue is largely hidden, resulting in what is referred to as “white privilege” – a privilege conferred without request or effort. How do local government leaders understand and deal with these significantly different perceptions and different experiences among the residents of their communities?  

This workshop explores the history of racism in the U.S. and how it has been embedded in governmental institutions from slavery at the country’s founding to modern mass incarceration.  It will explore how consequences of institutional racism contribute to the disparate perceptions and experiences in today’s society.  It will also explore efforts by some cities to achieve “truth and reconciliation” and bridge the gaps in racial understanding and promote social equity. (Practice Groups: 3, 8, 9, 14)

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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