Public Safety Department Measures Up

3 years 11 months 2 weeks ago Wednesday, December 25 2013 Dec 25, 2013 Wednesday, December 25, 2013 2:48:00 PM CST December 25, 2013 in News
By: Nicole Neidenberg, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

MEXICO - For the past forty years this Missouri city has cross-trained police officers and firefighters. Mexico Public Safety Department is the only department of its kind in mid-Missouri, where 34 officers do both police and fire work. The department claims it is more efficient than having two separate entities and saves the city money. 

Chief of Public Safety Susan Rockett said "We're able to meet any challenge due to cross-training. If we roll up on a robbery we can handle it; if we come up on a hazardous material incident we can handle that; if it's a structure fire, we can handle that, too," Rockett said.

Most cities have separate departments for police and fire, meaning one department may have to call in the other once it is on the scene. But Rockett said Mexico spends no time waiting for someone else to come to the rescue.

Mexico Public Safety has $2.725 million budgeted this year for both police and fire services provided by 34 officers. By contrast, neighboring Fulton has $3.260 million on its police and fire department with 27 full-time police officers and 24 full-time firefighters--51 officers total. Moberly budgets $3.915 million for its fire and police departments, with 24 full-time firefighters and 29 full-time police officers--53 total. 

In terms of effectiveness, Mexico, Fulton and Moberly have the same ISO class rating. The ISO rating measures the firefighting capability of the respective departments for insurance purposes. Class 1 represents superior property fire protection, and Class 10 indicates that the area's fire-suppression program doesn't meet ISO's minimum criteria. All three cities have a rating of Class 4.

On the police side, Mexico's totaled 338 crimes in 2012, with 304 property crimes at a rate of 203 crimes per 10,000 citizens and 38 violent crimes at a rate of 33 crimes per 10,000. Fulton had 474 property crimes at a rate of 372 crimes per 10,000 people and 36 violent crimes at a rate of 28 crimes per 10,000. Moberly had 616 total crimes with 597 property crimes at a rate of 413 crimes per 10,000 residents, and 26 violent crimes at a rate of 19 crimes per 10,000.

Mexico Public Safety Major Brice Mesko said public safety departments can be run differently, but Mexico opted for the traditional and most truest kind of public safety. 

"Our crime rates are as good or better than anyone else our size, our solve rate in the investigations that we do are as good or better than anyone our size, our firefighting efforts are as good or better than anyone else our size," Mesko said. 

"The way we've chosen to do it is we cross train everybody from the ground up, from the time you start here you are police and fire and that goes all the way up through the chief, to the number one person," Mesko said. 

Approximately 130 jurisdictions merged police and fire administrations out of the more than 18,000 agencies in the U.S in the last fifty years. Most mergers involve rural jurisdictions, but there are few large cities that use a cross-trained department.

Rockett said the public safety model created efficiency by allowing for more bodies to be on the street for fire or law, but there are few hidden obstacles such as personnel overtime. 

But in a study by firechief.com asking residents if they support consolidating fire, law enforcement and EMS into one department, 82 percent said no.

"Mexico residents are used to the way our public safety system works, because it's been like this for 40 years," Rockett said.

Sikeston is another Missouri city that has also consolidated departments. Surrounding cities said they are not looking for a merger anytime soon.

More News

Grid
List
INDEPENDENCE - Police said an endangered silver advisory has been issued for a 73-year-old woman with dementia who might be... More >>
17 minutes ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 3:43:24 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – The Jefferson City Public School Boundaries Committee began discussions on boundary lines for the city’s new high... More >>
32 minutes ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 3:29:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
HOLTS SUMMIT - Holts Summit's board of aldermen met Thursday night to discuss creating a city-owned shelter. Currently, the... More >>
54 minutes ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 3:07:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
SEDALIA (AP) — The former administrator of an ambulance service in central Missouri has pleaded guilty to embezzling more... More >>
1 hour ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 2:52:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Police said a 42-year-old woman went missing Friday morning and is considered at risk because of medical conditions.... More >>
1 hour ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 2:11:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Some HIV-positive patients in nearly half the counties in Missouri will lose health insurance coverage next... More >>
2 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 1:02:12 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A 37-year-old man is charged in the shooting of two suburban St. Louis police officers who... More >>
3 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 12:28:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
MONTGOMERY CITY - The Montgomery County Coroner's office is investigating how a person died after a house fire Thursday afternoon... More >>
3 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 12:15:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
PERRYVILLE (AP) — A dog who was the subject of a two-year court battle and a faked death is back... More >>
5 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 10:40:00 AM CST December 15, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The search for a new St. Louis police chief is down to six finalists — three... More >>
5 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 10:34:09 AM CST December 15, 2017 in News
GIRARD, Kan. (AP) — Authorities are investigating the death of a man whose body was found under a rural southeast... More >>
6 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 9:43:00 AM CST December 15, 2017 in News
OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — A homeless man who told police he dismembered his wife in a Missouri hotel room then... More >>
6 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 9:40:00 AM CST December 15, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The trial date for a man charged in connection with a 2002 rape case has been set for... More >>
7 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 8:33:00 AM CST December 15, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - A Missouri basketball player and a former Mizzou student have teamed up to start a nonprofit aimed at... More >>
7 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 8:15:00 AM CST December 15, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Chamber of Commerce is advocating for a full functioning Hyperloop to come to Missouri. After... More >>
12 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 3:32:00 AM CST December 15, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – More than 2,300 students will receive degrees from The University of Missouri this weekend, which means heavy traffic... More >>
13 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 2:20:00 AM CST December 15, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Kevin Roy scored twice and John Gibson made 29 saves as the Anaheim Ducks defeated the... More >>
17 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 10:20:39 PM CST December 14, 2017 in Sports
COLUMBIA - Iron Tiger Tattoo parlor in downtown Columbia mops its floors nearly three times a day. It didn’t use... More >>
18 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 9:56:00 PM CST December 14, 2017 in Target 8
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 42°
4pm 44°
5pm 42°
6pm 39°
7pm 38°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

3:00p
Dr. Phil
4:00p
Jeopardy!
4:30p
Jeopardy!
3:00p
The Robert Irvine Show
4:00p
The Goldbergs
4:30p
The Goldbergs

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Blindspot
8:00p
Dateline NBC
7:00p
The 86th Annual Hollywood Christmas Parade
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld