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HHS - Overview of Study Process
Meeting Protocol (11 k) pdf.gif (1K)

Overall Committee Charge Statement

The Hometown Security Study Committee shall seek consensus on a realistic comprehensive plan for the City of Lincoln to deliver public safety services to protect the people of Lincoln as the City grows. These public safety services include Lincoln’s Police and Fire Departments, Lincoln’s 911 Center, Lincoln/Lancaster County Office of Emergency Management Services and Lincoln/Lancaster County Health Department. With the assistance of one or more work groups operating under the Committee's direction, the committee and work groups shall explore and evaluate:

What is the growth gap in public safety?
What are the City's options to deal with it?
What is the best financial plan for the City to close the gap?
What strategy do the people of Lincoln support to address this issue?

The Committee shall be responsible for preparing an integrated package of recommendations for the Mayor and City Council that combines the work products of the Committee and work group(s). In undertaking these tasks, the Committee shall be sensitive to the effects its recommendations may have on businesses, neighborhoods, economic development, and Lincoln's citizens including people of all cultures and income groups.

Key Working Assumptions

The Committee shall seek a balanced funding approach affirming the need for protection of all citizens by the Police, Fire, 911 and other public safety agencies and supporting projects of broad community benefit. Ensuring the timely, stable and adequate funding for these elements is vital and should be reflected in the Committee's findings. In meeting these goals, maintenance of existing services and the infrastructure for those services should be given primary consideration followed by the need for expanded services as the City of Lincoln's population grows.

The priority of the Committee shall be to review the needs of police and fire protection and ambulance service. The Committee shall coordinate this review with ongoing reviews of Lincoln / Lancaster County's emergency preparedness in the case of a Weapon of Mass Destruction Incident. A WMD is any chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear device (sometimes referred to as NBC weapons). These weapons have the potential to produce an extraordinary number of casualties that could quickly overwhelm most hospital systems. Additionally, these weapons present unique challenges to those attempting to provide assistance to those in need.

Our City places a high priority on maintaining the safety of our community. It is important that the community discuss a comprehensive plan to address the growth of the City and the public safety gap that appears to exist. The Congress has passed the Homeland Security Act. The Act offers new and different opportunities for communities to enhance first responders' capabilities in communities across the nation. These funds will support states and communities as they conduct exercises, purchase equipment and train personnel, according to the President’s Strategy for Homeland Security. A comprehensive study of public safety and its growing needs will help the City apply for new federal programs offered by the Homeland Security Act for local police, fire and 911 Centers.

The comprehensive study should include examining:

  • The current personnel numbers of the fire, police and the 911 Center.
  • The workload of the police, fire and 911 Center.
  • The growth of the number of 911 dispatches for police and fire.
  • Whether there is a need to increase the resources of the police, fire and 911.
  • Whether there are alternative ways to meet the growing demand for police, fire and 911 services without adding personnel.
  • The cost of adding to the police, fire and 911Center and discuss how increasing resources might be financed.
  • The current equipment capabilities and future needs.

The Committee shall set time horizons for a public safety services plan covering the next 6 years and a longer range strategy as appropriate.

The City-County Comprehensive Plan shall serve as the Committee’s framework for the assumed future rate of population growth, the direction of growth, and the phasing of growth.

Work Group Charge Statements

The Homeland Security Study Committee shall be organized with a minimum of one work group that will address the issues of fire, 911 and emergency medical services. The Chair(s) of any work group(s) shall report the results of their efforts to the Homeland Security Study Committee which shall have final authority in determining all recommendations sent to the Mayor and City Council. Each work group shall be chaired by a member of the Homeland Security Study Committee and shall be composed of Committee members and community members selected by the Committee with the Mayor and City Council’s review and approval.

Fire and Emergency Medical Services (EMS)Work Group

The role of this work group is to specifically study Fire and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) services including the need for additional fire stations, personnel and equipment. The work group will also study Fire Department facilities and locations, and options in providing services. Two members of the main committee will co-chair the work group. They will then report back to the full committee. The work group membership will include representatives from the hospitals, Medical Society, EMS Inc. Board, insurance industry and others as appropriate.

Time Frame and Deadlines

To ensure the results of this effort are available for use during the City of Lincoln’s Fiscal Year 2003-2004 budget deliberations, the Committee’s overall work is to be completed no later than June 1, 2003.

Consultant Support

The work of the Committee will encompass a wide range of safety, financial, and legal issues. The Committee may find that during the course of its deliberations, support in the form of outside consultant assistance may be desired in order to satisfactorily complete the charge. This assistance may include support involving the technical aspects of various safety services under consideration or in crafting a broader Committee consensus.

The Committee should convey to the Mayor areas in which they believe such outside consultant support would be beneficial to their work. The Mayor shall take these requests into consideration and, in consultation with the City Council, determine the appropriateness of the requests.

City Staff Support

The Committee will be supported by staff from the City of Lincoln and Lancaster County. Staff members from the Mayor’s Office, City Attorney’s Office, Lincoln Urban Development, Police, Fire, 911, Fiscal Department, Lincoln/Lancaster County Health Department and Emergency Management Services will be available to the Committee. The City’s Federal and State lobbyists also will be available through the Mayor’s Office to respond to specific informational requests. City staff will make every effort to respond to Committee inquiries in a timely and direct manner. All such requests for staff assistance should be directed through the Chair of the Committee or work group(s) to the City’s Project Coordinator.

Consultant Support

All Committee and work group meetings shall be held in accessible public buildings and shall be open to the public. Public notice of all meetings shall be posted in accordance with State law.

Discussion at Committee and work group meetings shall be limited to members of the Committee, members of the work group(s), staff, and consultants assisting the process. The Committee and work group(s) shall provide time on their agenda on a periodic basis for receiving public comments in accordance with State and City laws and regulations. The Committee may set time limits for individual speakers during these comment periods before the Committee and work groups, but must ensure a fair and equitable allocation of time among all speakers.

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