The Best Departments Continue to Seek Improvements: El Mirage PD Identifies Efficient Operational Outlook from Partnership with CPSM

The City of El Mirage sought to improve their police department by identifying whether staffing levels were adequate to support community demand, whether any immediate changes could be implemented to improve efficiency and safety of their operations, and what capital investments needed to be made in order to support the future service delivery. In order to accomplish this analysis and strategic planning for the El Mirage Police Department (EMPD), the City contracted with Center for Public Safety Management (CPSM), the nation’s leaders in data-driven public safety technical assistance.

CPSM took the research process head on to conduct an assessment of the Police Department’s management structure and operations, which identified potential risks associated with EMPD’s current practices and evaluated the department’s organizational structure, calls for service, staffing, overtime, personnel and equipment deployment, emergency communications (911), strategic planning, crime prevention and community engagement education efforts.

“The El Mirage Police Department has ​​professional staff that provide quality law enforcement services and are dedicated to the mission of the department,” said CPSM Senior Associate and project lead James McCabe. “As with any great department, there is always room to improve. The key to our work is identifying a department’s strengths and challenges to pave the way for further efficiency and organizational effectiveness in the long term.”

CPSM’s study involved data collection, interviews with key operational and administrative personnel, focus groups with line-level department personnel, on-site observations of the job environment, data analysis, comparative analysis, and the development of alternatives and recommendations. The team also evaluated the City’s current primary Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP), City of Tolleson Police Department Dispatch Center, to determine contractual requirements and performance in answering incoming E911 emergency and non-emergency police and fire service-related calls.

“The leadership at EMPD is striving to create an environment in which constructive change can thrive. Our team’s recommendations will guide EMPD to the next level and enhance the City’s mission is to offer exemplary service to all who live, work, and visit El Mirage,” McCabe added.

Based on the analysis of EMPD’s traditional core services, estimated costs, current and future trends, organizational structure, staffing methods, and estimated service demands of the community for the next ten years, CPSM identified over 50 recommendations, with approximately one-third intended to be addressed in the short term, and the remaining to be addressed as the department evolves over several years. The recommendations were grouped by operational category, and were split between operational and administrative divisions.

CPSM made a formal presentation of the report and recommendations at the May 17, 2022 El Mirage City Council meeting, which offered City Officials short and long-term approaches to prioritize services in the desired focus-areas (operations and management, staffing, patrol scheduling and deployment, overtime, community policing, capital infrastructure, and support resources).

“CPSM’s analysis and recommendations will help our department assure that our services are effectively delivered based on best management practices and community demands,” said EMPD Chief Paul Marzocca. “Optimizing our resources to continue to provide exemplary services to our community is a huge priority for the department, so it’s great to have a data-driven roadmap to ensure we meet our long-term goals.”

To learn more about the El Mirage Police Department, CPSM’s strategic plan for the department, and CPSM’s work as a whole, check out the El Mirage Police Operations and Data Analysis Report here.