Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.– John F. Kennedy
|The traditional roles of police and fire are evolving.|
The changes in the PERA police and fire retirement plan could cause as many as 15 percent of senior law enforcement personnel to retire between now and July 1. In addition to the loss of knowledge and experience, this will create a large workload for many background investigators and field training officers as new officers are hired and trained. Some departments may be operating shorthanded until the new recruits are on their own.
|Retirement, demographics, and new tech are causing change.|
Population change and technology
Intermixed with all of this are the demographic changes occurring in the state. As Minnesota’s baby boomers retire, it is not only impacting the workforce but it is also affecting the call loads. For many cities the number of crimes and fire calls are down, but calls for service and medical emergencies are up. As new cultures continue to gravitate to the state, reaching out to new populations requires different approaches to communication.
Technology and research continue to influence tactics and policies. The ongoing research into how structures burn is driving changes in firefighting tactics. I recently heard the phrase “hit it hard from the yard” as a new method of exterior attack was being discussed. New information technology and analytics for police will require increased diligence and time while these tools are assessed and new policies, procedures, and training are implemented.
It is interesting that President Kennedy’s quote from June 1963 applies so well today. Change is the law of life. It may sound trite but departments that actively manage and prepare for these waves of change will best be able to benefit from the opportunities that are in the future.
Responder Safety = Public Safety
Up next ... A large fire, 17 fire departments, 130 firefighters and no injuries: Perham’s potato warehouse fire.
In the meantime, stay safe and be careful.