Strategic Planning

Failing to plan or planning to fail?

Center for Public Safety Management offers leading-edge, but grounded strategic planning to help communities think, plan, and act strategically for improved safety services.

Many cities have plans for strategically managing their police, fire, EMS, and emergency operations that are seriously out of date or lack them altogether. Given the stakes involved with public safety services, the costs and responsibilities of operating these critical departments, ongoing budgetary constraints and demands for greater proof of efficacy and efficiency, CPSM believes focused and pragmatic strategic plans are increasingly important.

When an emergency or crisis occurs, it is too late to find that your plan or agency has not kept current with how these situations will be handled. Many safety agencies are not fiscally and organizationally and sustainable. The Center for Public Safety Management offers a proven and robust strategic planning program designed for any size community. It ensures that your emergency services will be strategically managed and deployed: you’ll have the right resources at the right place at the right time within available funding over time.

The process begins with a workshop with principal stakeholders to discuss the strategic planning process. This includes a review of the organization from the stakeholders’ perspectives and a discussion about the methodology. This initial process would focus the strategic planning efforts on the mission and values of the organization, and an explication of these values into a vision for the organization and possible goals to achieve.

Following the initial meeting, the Center for Public Safety Management team will conduct a qualitative and quantitative assessment of the critical components of the organization using:

  • Interviews
  • Employee Survey
  • Observations
  • Focus Groups
  • Current and likely future demands for public safety services
  • Operations, budgetary and CAD/RMS data
  • Review of policies and procedures

Based on the initial workshop and following the interviews, employee survey, observations, and focus groups and data and operational analysis, the Center for Public Safety Management will reconvene with principal stakeholders to discuss the product of the organizational assessment. We will:

  • Identify overarching goals
  • Document how resources are deployed and used
  • Select strategic planning group members and group leaders
  • Train and coach group leaders
  • Charge the groups to engage in the strategic planning process

Following the goals and selection process, strategic planning teams undertake the following activities:

  • Examine qualitative and quantitative information collected
  • Identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats for the organization
  • Develop preliminary strategies to mitigate/accentuate SWOT
  • Benchmark the organization with industry comparators
  • Analyze opportunities for operational improvements
  • Refine preliminary strategies
  • Present preliminary strategies to stakeholders for feedback
  • Further refine strategies and present recommendations to the organization’s leadership

The CPSM team’s professional experience in running as well as analyzing and researching hundreds of public safety agencies and knowledge of current best practices and industry standards will inform the strategic planning process at every juncture. Put simply, we know what works and what strategies and systems are doomed to failure.

A written strategic plan will be created and published. Our goal is that it is highly credible with all stakeholders, focused and useful to policy-makers and managers and truly serves to guide the department’s evolution and improvement for the foreseeable future.