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Is it time to get back to police community engagement?

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Dec 17, 2014 1:04:21 PM


Police chiefs understand that the key to good community policing is exceptional community engagement. They just need the people in place to do it.

It does not take a law enforcement expert to realize that misunderstandings take place between police and average citizens. All too often, these two groups experience entirely different worlds. 

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Topics: Public Safety Technology, Law Enforcement, Police, Analytics

Overtime costs squeeze public safety [VIDEO]

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Dec 15, 2014 11:25:15 AM

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Topics: Law Enforcement, Budget, Overtime

Firefighters, Cities Battle Over Minimum Staffing Requirements

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Dec 11, 2014 11:29:15 AM


Disputes between fire departments and municipalities often include minimum staffing issues.

Union negotiations in the public sector—particularly among public safety departments—usually include stipulations about minimum staffing. However, these negotiations do not always proceed in the departments' favor.

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Topics: Scheduling, Budget, Overtime, Firefighters

Do police departments run like businesses?

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Dec 2, 2014 2:31:00 PM


Police departments have more in common with businesses than many people may think.

Few people would think of their local police departments as businesses. After all, they are taxpayer-funded organizations that exist to maintain public safety 24 hours a day, seven days a week. On a surface level, police departments definately do not operate in the same way as, say, a local store.

But delve deeper and you'll find that police departments actually share many similar attributes with businesses. As pointed out in a recent article on Police Business Advisor, police provide a crucial service that is in high demand. They must adhere to a strict budget, and ultimately their customers pay their salary. 

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Topics: Public Safety Technology, Law Enforcement

Overtime costs put pressure on police departments

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Nov 26, 2014 1:31:00 PM


Our goal at Orion Communications is to help local public safety agencies improve their staffing procedures.
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Topics: Administration

What happens when governments lack the funds for public safety?

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Nov 11, 2014 1:31:00 PM


Even in an improved economy, finding the money to adequately fund public safety departments is not always easy.
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Topics: Mobile Technology

New Orleans Police making progress against high murder rate

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Oct 29, 2014 1:39:00 PM


New Orleans was once the murder capital of the United States. Now its violent crime rates are dropping.

For more than two decades, violent crime has fallen almost uniformly across the United States. After peaking in 1990 at about 750 violent crimes per 100,000 people, the rate fell just below 400 crimes in 2012.

The national murder rate has also dropped, falling from about 8 incidents per 100,000 people in 1985 to 4.7 in 2012. However, some cities still struggle with a higher-than-average murder rate. At 62 murders per 100,000 people, Flint, Michigan claims the title of the nation's murder capital, and is one of the few cities to have seen its violent crime levels increase during the past two decades. Flint is followed closely by Detroit, with a rate of 54.6 murders per 100,000.

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Topics: Scheduling, Police

As the seasons change, fire crews must adjust scheduling efforts

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Oct 23, 2014 11:54:14 AM


Demand for fire services can vary, even during traditional wildfire seasons.

Wildfires are a natural—even necessary—part of the overall forest ecosystem. These periodic events burn away dead brush and make room, as well as fertile soil, for new plants to grow. However, this is little comfort to those who may live near the scene of a massive wildfire. To them, it is crucial that these events be controlled so they do not spread to settlements, damage property and take lives. This is where well-organized fire departments play a crucial role.

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Topics: Scheduling, Fire, Firefighters

Local governments use data to improve scheduling efficiency

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Oct 21, 2014 10:23:09 AM


Would you rather work eight hours per day for five days per week, or 10 hours per day for four days per week?

The term "bureaucracy" generally has a negative connotation. When used to describe local government, bureaucracy represents waste, largesse and inefficiency. It suggests to residents that their government has little interest in—or ability to—solve basic problems without expending large sums of money. 

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Topics: Workforce Management, Scheduling, Analytics

What can wardens learn from a recent Ohio prison break?

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Oct 8, 2014 5:04:00 PM


A recent prison break in Ohio highlights the need for better workforce management among guards.

The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world, standing at 716 prisoners per 100,000 people in 2013. Serving time among this hefty prison population are violent convicted criminals who must be kept secure for the safety of the general public.

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Topics: Workforce Management, Scheduling, Corrections

About Orion Communications

Orion Communications is a certified women-owned business enterprise headquartered in Dallas, Texas that has been specializing in workforce management software since 1998. As Public Sector workforce management and data interface experts, Orion is a unique provider of dynamically intelligence workforce management software. Orion serves agencies with complex requirements and improves workforce productivity using its web based AgencyWeb® system and consultative management services.

For more information, please contact Jackie Belasky at 214-361-1203, #2413 or jbelasky@orioncom.com.