The Los Angeles Times just posted an article which takes a close look at Sunnyvale’s cross-training public safety model. It’s a good read. More and more cities are looking to us in tight budget times, seeing the savings that the model gets us. We get frequent visitors representing other cities throughout the U.S. who want to see how we do things and whether or not it might work in their cities. [Update – KCBS picked up the story as well][Update 2: So did NBC Bay Area with a video]
It was a little easier for us to adopt, because we did so when we were transitioning from an all-volunteer firefighting force to a larger paid force. A lot of the difficulty in making such a change is cultural, and the start-up costs are significant. So smaller cities looking to expand their services may have an easier time switching to a public safety model than a city with an established police and firefighting force.