I'll start out by stipulating that I'm neither for or against public safety departments
Originally Posted by GrumpyGuard
My first thought was this does not seem to bad, as plenty of cities have Public Safety Departments. then I got to the paragraph that talked about laying off 14 fire fighters. This is wrong on so many levels. I hope the fire fighters union and police officers unions aren't putting up a stink. I find it hard to believe that Bay City has 12 Officers that are trained and certified Fire Fighters. Who will these 12 belong to, the Police Chief or Fire Chief? What will be there primary duties (Fire Fighting or Law Enforcement).
The impression I get from the article is that when the 12 officers finish the fire academy, then the 14 firefighters will be laid off.
The rest of it depends on how they organize the department. I've worked with several public safety agencies, and most of them are standard, police-type setups. There are no separate police and fire chief, but one department head, typically(around here anyway) called a public safety director. The director would "own" the personnel. I would imagine, since Bay City has a police chief, and an interim fire chief, that the police chief would assume this role.
Most public safety departments around me work a standard, 3 platoon, 8 hour day, 40 hour week assignment. One or two officers might be assigned to the fire truck that shift, and they would stay at the station and pull the trucks, and be met at the scene by the other officers.
There is however, one public safety department that maintains a fire department type schedule. They have a 3 platoon, 24 hour shift, 56 hour week setup. At some point during the 24 hour tour, a number of officers spend eight hours assigned to pushing a scout and chasing tail lights, while the remaining officers are in the fire station training, maintaining apparatus, and sleeping. I'm not sure how many officers are assigned to a platoon, but it's around 8-12. I should also point out that this community is small, maybe two square miles of area that includes two large residential prep schools, a stretch of an eight lane avenue, multi million dollar homes, and is one of the wealthiest ZIP codes in the country. This city has maintained a public safety department as long as I can remember.