Institute of Politics

Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Committee

Committee Overview

The Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Committee examines issues related to emergency first responders and the preparation by governments and organizations for potential manmade and environmental emergencies. The work of the committee is devoted to a broad range of topics, including volunteer firefighters, police, community resiliency, and emergency coordination.

Summary of Current Initiatives

Future of Policing

In 2017, the committee decided to examine the future of policing. To supplement the committee’s deliberations, the Institute is researching best practices in policing and meeting with police officers across the region to discuss the important issues facing police officers in Southwestern Pennsylvania both now and in the future. The result of the committee’s work will be a community forum for local government officials, police officers, and regional stakeholders to have a conversation about policing best practices and resolving issues facing law enforcement.

Ongoing and/or Completed Projects

Community Resilience

In March 2014, the committee met to identify a potential topic for 2014 and beyond. After reviewing several options, the committee determined that community resilience provided the best opportunity to make meaningful change in the region. In September 2014, Anita Chandra of RAND spoke at the Institute's Elected Officials Retreat about the community resilience model she helped to develop for the county of Los Angeles.

Given the recent grant award received by the City of Pittsburgh to implement a chief resilience officer, the committee will continue to evaluate its role in developing a community resilience model in the region.

Volunteer Firefighter Recruitment and Retention

In 2011, the committee hosted a forum on volunteer firefighter recruitment and retention. In conjunction with that event, the committee also developed several "Best Practices in Recruitment and Retention" tools and made them available to forum attendees as well as legislators in the area. The tools are designed to help educate municipal officials, volunteer fire departments, and the public about the situation facing volunteer fire departments in the region and how the declining enrollment can be mitigated.

Memberships

The Public Safety & Emergency Preparedness Committee is cochaired by:

  • Mr. G. Reynolds Clark, Interim Executive Director, Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority
  • The Honorable Randy Vulakovich, Member, Pennsylvania Senate

Click here for a complete list of committee members.

The Public Safety & Emergency Preparedness Committee is carefully crafted to be balanced and represent a variety of stakeholders. However, we occasionally have spots available for members in certain sectors who may be underrepresented on the committee. Please contact Briana Mihok at 412-624-7792 or bnd2@pitt.edu if you have an interest in serving as a member.

Publications

The following publications issued by the Institute are related to the focus areas of the Public Safety & Emergency Preparedness Committee: