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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 76697 Find in a Library
Title: Police and Fire Consolidation in the Public Sector
Journal: Midwest Monitor  Volume:7  Issue:2  Dated:(March/April 1981)  Pages:2-15
Corporate Author: Indiana University
School of Public and Environmental Affairs
United States of America
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 14
Sponsoring Agency: Indiana University
Bloomington, IN 47405
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The issue of consolidating police and fire departments into single public safety departments is explored. Arguments for and against consolidation are outlined, a history of consolidation efforts is presented, and the problems encountered in consolidation are discussed.
Abstract: Consolidation of police and fire services has been in existence since the Roman Empire, when Augustus formed the 'vigiles,' a group of men responsible for keeping the order and fighting fires. In the United States, consolidation has been in effect in some areas for 70 years. Those in favor of consolidation usually cite the high costs of maintaining and manning two separate public safety departments. Proponents claim that consolidation makes productive use of the time that firefighters spend waiting for fires to break out, that police and fire department services often overlap, and that both groups have such similar activities that consolidation is a logical move. Opposition to consolidation focuses on the adverse effect of breaking up a firefighting team with resultant delays at the fire scene which could result in loss of life or property, the inadequacy of public safety training programs and the lower ratings issued by insurance companies to consolidated departments. Those setting up successful consolidated public safety departments must consider such issues as collective bargaining; careful research and publication of results into the effects of consolidation; careful examination of State statutes, municipal charters, and civil service and pension statutes to determine the legal extent of possible consolidation; and training and retraining programs to ensure quality of personnel. These cities which have been most successful at present in consolidation efforts have been those with populations under 10,000. A bibliography of 10 references is included, as is an annotated list of 15 additional references.
Index Term(s): Fire departments; Police reform; Police-fire operation consolidation; Program implementation; Program planning; Public safety consolidation
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=76697

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