Public Safety Workforce Blogs

Beyond 2020 and Its Effect on 2021 Law Enforcement

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Nov 18, 2020 5:23:16 PM

 

Like many aspects of life in 2020, the structure of law enforcement is undergoing fundamental shifts. Falling revenues have cut deeply into agency budgets and public protests have increased tension and created uncertainty. At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic has placed additional stress on police and sheriff’s department budgets and resources. What a year! As we are on the threshold of welcoming in 2021, let’s look at the types of changes law enforcement can expect as a result.

 

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Topics: Law Enforcement

The Deadly Effects of Sleep Deprivation for Public Safety Agencies

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Oct 19, 2020 6:06:51 PM

About half of protective service and military workers report not getting enough sleep, representing a higher rate of sleep deprivation than any other occupation. This statistic is especially concerning given the vital role this workforce plays in protecting public safety and health. It’s understandable that public safety workers would struggle to get enough sleep.  Working 12-hour and rotational shifts that are combined with the unpredictability of being on call can disrupt the body’s natural circadian rhythm. Assignments can involve shift hold-overs, traumatic encounters, and high levels of stress.

Chronic stress can keep the nervous system in a heightened state of arousal, making it harder to fall asleep. Anxious thoughts can intrude in the middle of the night, resulting in a poor sleep experience. On top of these factors, many officers, firefighters and dispatchers work additional jobs to help meet financial obligations, limiting the number of hours they’re able to set aside for rest.  What's the long-term effect and how can it be controlled?

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Topics: Police and Fire, Officer Safety

Public Safety Budget Planning After an Unpredictable Year

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Oct 7, 2020 5:27:04 PM

 

If 2020 has taught us one thing, it’s that the future is unpredictable. Public safety agencies have always operated amid uncertainty. COVID-19, however, is placing an unprecedented strain on resources, both by necessitating additional expenditures and interrupting revenue streams. This creates an unprecedented challenge as organizations try to anticipate their needs and plan for the coming year.

Now is the time for agencies to monitor where their budgets have been so they can better plan where they'll be going. Using technology, such as data-driven analytics that provide actionable insights, can be incredibly valuable. Whether the data revolves around the cost for personnel, equipment or responding to COVID-19 calls, looking backward can provide justifications when looking forward. As we're approaching 2021, let's take a look at some of the strategies public safety agencies are using to plan for next year's budgets. 

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Topics: Budget, public safety, Staffing, COVID-19

6 Steps Fire/EMS Can Take with Fewer Volunteers During COVID-19

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Sep 24, 2020 10:55:11 AM

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a tremendous impact on first responders. Not only has it created a new normal that’s changed the way fire and EMS agencies operate, but it’s also left agencies short on volunteers as people take time off to quarantine or recover from illness. Many past volunteers are now unavailable: some are caring for sick family members; some are minimizing exposure to protect their health or that of loved ones who are at higher risk; and some have full-time jobs that currently prohibit them from doing volunteer work in order to minimize the exposure of other staff members. In the face of the volunteer shortage, what can agencies do to ensure they continue meeting public safety needs? 

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Topics: Workforce Management, EMS, Firefighters, COVID-19

Evolving Technology for Public Safety’s Unprecedented Scheduling Needs

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Sep 2, 2020 6:14:40 PM

In a year of on-the-job dangers posed by a viral pandemic and civil unrest, public safety agencies nationwide are going through massive change. With officers, firefighters and EMS personnel working in extremely volatile situations, many agencies have the added stress of staffing shortages. Some vacancies are caused by the fatigue of managing civil acts of violence. Others are due to employees testing positive for or being exposed to COVID-19.

The inability to back fill vacancies with qualified personnel and equipment is not an option. Scheduling and managing a workforce with these concerns in mind is tough using Excel spreadsheets. Many agencies have adjusted their practices and are relying on technology to effectively manage the safety of their personnel.

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Topics: Workforce Management, Scheduling, EMS, Firefighters, Analytics, COVID-19

Preparing Fire & Rescue for the Workforce Challenges Ahead

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Aug 14, 2020 12:37:51 PM

 

When emergency situations strike, the world relies on first responders to help. But what happens when the Fire and Rescue workforce is adapting to the unknown? Global issues like the COVID-19 pandemic have shone a light on workforce challenges that won't be going away anytime soon.  It's crucial to understand what to look for and how to plan for the road ahead. 

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Topics: Workforce Management, Scheduling, EMS, Firefighters, Analytics, COVID-19

4 Ways COVID-19 is Transforming Court Procedures

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Jul 29, 2020 2:45:00 PM

With social distancing recommendations in place by the CDC during the COVID-19 pandemic, courts must find new ways to conduct proceedings. Technology has played a large role in transforming proceedings, with numerous states seeing success with these new practices. 

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Topics: Criminal Justice, Courts, COVID-19

How to Protect Jail and Prison Populations from COVID-19

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Jul 18, 2020 1:15:00 PM

As organizations nationwide adapt to life during the COVID-19 pandemic, public safety agencies are among those facing additional challenges. This includes jails and prisons, which must implement protocols to keep inmates safe from the life threatening virus. Reducing the spread may be difficult, but there are several ways to prepare and prevent against the illness for the incarcerated and workforce staff within these facilities. 

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Topics: Workforce Management, Corrections, prisons, COVID-19

It’s Time to Rethink How Your Agency Operates

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Jun 18, 2020 7:08:59 PM

 

There may never have been a more challenging time to be working in public safety than right now.  Since the outbreak of COVID-19 many first responders have been working excessively long hours, often for several weeks in a row to keep our communities safe.  These past few weeks have been incredibly tough for law enforcement with civil unrest and calls for reform, de-funding and even dismantling of police agencies. With overtime already spiraling out of control and the long term impact of the economic slowdown, many agencies are looking back in order to chart a course forward.

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Topics: Workforce Management, Public Safety Technology

Effective Scheduling of Correctional Officers is Essential (Video)

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Jan 21, 2020 9:52:55 AM

Managing today's correctional facilities is demanding, difficult and sometimes dangerous. When you house hundreds of convicted criminals in one building, effective management is critical to the safety of inmates, workers, and the surrounding community. 

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Topics: Corrections