Monday, January 29, 2007

The County Interagency Safety Board

Hamilton County, Indiana - which includes northern suburbs of Indianapolis - recently approved its Interagency Public Safety Board, the Indianapolis Star reported.

The board has been meeting unofficially for about two years, but is just now getting formal recognition from county officials.

The board includes the sheriff, police and fire chiefs from Fishers, Noblesville and Carmel, the town of Westfield's administration director, two officials from the county emergency management office and one representative from the northern fire and police departments.

Originally created to help decide how to use a $4.8 million Homeland Security grant to update technology, [Sheriff Doug] Carter said the board will now delve into other issues.

"We want to have an open dialogue and meet and talk about things we can do, whether it's training initiatives, statutory updates or issues facing law enforcement around the county," he said. ... "We want to share resources and information."

"We have a lot of different issues before us today, and two of those major issues are communication and training," Noblesville Police Chief Dick Russell said.

He said public safety agencies today shouldn't try to function independently of each other. "It takes the public, it takes us communicating with other agencies. The better we can communicate, the better we will be able to do our jobs."
A few thoughts come to mind: First, this sounds like the kind of collaborative spirit that local authorities should have. Second, I wonder how many other communities have such a board - either official or unofficial? Third, I wonder why they waited 2 years before trying to get official recognition from county authorities?

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