Public Safety and Security: An encompassing priority for all governments

“True public safety requires a collaboration between law enforcement and the community.”Betsy Hodges

Public safety and security which in simple terms is keeping communities safe has been one of the important services that all governments provide. Most often, a department is assigned to this task, which may include the police, fire fighting, EMS and transportation.

The City of Upper Arlington has both the Police Department (UAPD) and the Fire Department (UAFD) under the supervision of the city government, in contrast with what the Philippines has wherein the police and fire departments are under the Department of the Interior and Local Government, which is a national government agency.

The police and fire department being under the jurisdiction of the local government has its pros and cons. For one, the local government has direct access to these pu lic safety services so communication is easily installed. Financial and technical assistance is also accessible and can be directly requested depending on its value and availability of funds. Federal and State laws are also locally adapted, even improved to provide target specific needs of the community. These law enforcement departments are also being moved away from being politically used, since politicians have no jurisdiction over their functions as they are specifically under the executive management. However, being under the local government, assistance may   be insufficient due to availability of funds, situation of the local government and the priorities of the organization.

Being able to experience both police and fire fighting/EMS services being provided by UAPD and UAFD and the various endeavors they undertake to make them productive and reliable made me realize the important roles they play in our society. Risking their lives to protect and serve the public, is worth more than a million gratitude. The feeling that you are able to walk at night unharmed is an inidicator that these public safety departments are doing their job as effective as they can.

It is also good to note how advanced these public safety departments are in terms of trainings, equipment and protocols as compared to what we have in the Philippines. Technological upgrades are installed in each offices linked to all patrol cars, medic and engine. Each officer has their own expertise and specialization, and continuously receives training. Most important of all, police and fire marshals/paramedics always keep their health in good shape as they are equipped with fitness facilities and are required to accomplish physical fitness activities everyday.

Yet, we as the public must never forget that ensuring safety is also our burden. If we will not be aware and educated about the things that are happening around us, and if we just let perpetrators to continue doing what we consider bad for our communities, then we will, and always be at the losing end. 

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